Monday, July 29, 2013

Made a Mess Monday!

This is my first Made It Monday Linky! Thank you 4th Grade Frolics! In my case, this linky should be called I Made a Mess Monday Linky! I can't believe how quickly I can mess up a space. I'm like a little tornado. What I really need is someone to follow behind and pick up as I create. Wouldn't that be great? Like that's ever going to happen! These little bits were EVERYWHERE! I have the feeling I'll be finding them for weeks...

I've been seeing all these adorable banners that everyone is making and thought I'd give it a try. Looked easy. But it's not! It took me hours and I'm still not done! I should have found directions on Pinterest. Here's what I did...

I think I've mentioned that I love the patterned scrapbooking paper. I have a huge collection and let the kids use it for all our art projects. I have quite the stash at home and cut out enough large triangles to spell out "Welcome." Truth be told I was going for "Welcome to Kindergarten" but after I made welcome there was no way I was continuing on! Welcome will be just fine!

Next, I used my border maker thingy from Martha Stewart and punched away until I had enough to go around all three sides of the triangles.

I folded down the end of each triangle so that I could hang them on a ribbon.
Using the hot glue gun I pretty much just burned all my fingers and then when I was done doing that, I glued the paper lace around the edges of the triangles.

When I was done crying, I cut out the letters and glued them down to the triangles. Voila! My banner without the ribbon! And all the other words (to Kindergarten).

I'm off to see what everyone else made!

My apron project is moving along and soon to be up and running! Stay tuned!

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Quick Sunday Smorgie

Hi Sunday Smorgie-ers! Thanks again to Fabulous In First for hosting!
I'm posting some random things as I'm packing up to head back to you-know-where. My posts should finally start having school related content!

I'm working really hard to get my aprons up and running! It's way more work than I ever thought and I wish I could say it was easy! Stay tuned...
My envelopes are colored and ready to be stuffed with our Welcome to Kindergarten letters! Whew! I highly recommend decorating envelopes/letters to send to your new students. My kids have always loved them and it's a great way to make the first contact with them really sweet! Go buy some envelopes, get out your markers, find a good chick flick and get busy!
I found these neat chalks at JoAnnes. I love them and used them on my envelopes. They will be staying in "Teacher Land" and definitely not up for kinders to use. I can see the messy faces already, and hands, and clothes, and papers get the idea!

This was an impulse buy. I make the silliest b-day crowns with my kids and how can you have a crown without glitter? Lots and lots of glitter! It's the fine type and I often have difficulty getting it back into the teeny jar. I'm hoping this helps but we all know that a paper with a crease down the middle works well when you tip it and pour. Hmmmm, we'll see.

Finally, here's a picture of the items waiting to be packed into my car for school. The best find is that silly Dough Boy stuffed toy. He does the most ridiculous giggle that's too perfect for a 5 year old. And this old teacher. We'll take him out for cooking and joke time (kinders tell the worst jokes and Dough Boy may be the only one who gets them). I think we may have to check the link about jokes below!
Thanks so much for stopping by! As I was headed out the door I happened to check the mirror. I've got to go wash my face-chalk everywhere from decorating the envelopes! Ha! Close call.

 I love your comments!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome to School Poem and Envelopes

 Two weeks before school starts I have always hand-decorated envelopes to send a packet that includes a welcome to kindergarten poem (that includes a time for the Meet N" Greet), class supply list, and parent letter. It takes hours to draw these envelopes and several chick-flicks to get it all done. Parents and students go crazy over them and so I thought I might be able to create printed envelopes to save teachers some time (and help you avoid some really sappy movies). I encourage you to either decorate your own envelopes or check out mine. Either way, the kids love getting mail and this is a fun way to get them excited for the coming year!

Well, with a lot of help from hubster, it got done! Woot woot! My teeny tiny TPT store now has a whopping 4 items!

I love to color and get great joy from all my art supplies. It's a problem. This is a small sample of what I hoard at my home, in the closet, so my husband doesn't keep track of all my supplies. The patterned paper is another addiction and a different post...

Anyway, I find a few good chick flicks on TV and off I go! If you don't like to color, buy pizza for your own kids and enlist their help! Or. better yet, send the envelopes uncolored so your students can color them! I can't even tell you how happy I am that I don't have to hand draw this year's envelopes! Yipeeeeee!

 AND, in case you're worried...the post office has no problem with decorated envelopes. I've never had an issue mailing them but I took one of these puppies to the post office to double check. They assured me the pictures weren't a problem. 

The little welcome poem for kindergarten is included in the packet (you'll have to edit the date) and I love Krista's (of Creative Clips) back-to-school clip art. I hope you like it too! The envelopes work for any grade level, not just kindergarten. You may have to play a little with your printer but if I can do it, anyone can!

If you don't like mine, get your own envelopes and decorate them yourselves. Truly, this has been super successful for me and the kids love receiving mail! Have fun!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday

It's that time of the week! Throwback Thursday! I can't join in on this linky much longer because I don't have many more throwbacks to throw! Thanks always to First Grade Parade for hosting!
This week I thought I'd share an art project that I actually do for Mr. Luther King Day. It would also be a really fun project for the beginning of the school year when you're trying to foster a sense of community within your classroom. It's the time of year when we talk a lot about our uniqueness and all the specialness that makes each of us precious. We all bring something wonderful to the table, so to speak!

Here it is! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Martin Luther King Crayons

This is another art project that I have done for years. I can't remember where I got it and would like to give credit to the original creator. I'll see if I can find it and post again with their name.

I always start off by reading a book called "The Crayon Box That Talked" by Shane Derolf. The content is simple enough for my little ones to comprehend and it has a wonderful message about being unique and working together. It's the perfect way to introduce Martin Luther King and his dream. The quote on the box is from the book.

I should have used a darker color when tracing around the letters. Also, the kids wanted their names visible so I think that next year I will have each person holding a name tag. I used multicultural construction paper and let them pick out the shade they felt matched their own skin color.

We're a little smooshed in that box, so you might want to think about that before you make your own! Haha!

Well, folks next week I'm back at school getting the bulletin boards up for the beginning of the year. I love to go in about a week before everyone else when it's still quiet and I have all the bulletin board paper to myself! I'm also a yapper and love to visit with friends and get absolutely nothing done if I wait until the next week!

I love decorating more than academic planning (can I say that?) and often wander into other people's classrooms to help out (so I don't have to do the serious stuff). I wonder if there's a need for classroom designers? Wouldn't that be fun to get paid for decorating!! Anywho, I'll post my bulletin boards just in case it can help someone. I hope you'll all do the same so that I can see what you're up to!!

WHOOPS!!!!!! i just went to add my linky to First Grade Parade and I'm not so sure this linky exists anymore! I'll check back with her soon but that is sooooo me to not check first. Tough toasties for Mrs. Welchie! Hmmmm, did the Thursday Linky go extinct-y?

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 things I've Learned from Teaching

I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten for her linky party. I'm late as usual and have read some of your great posts. I didn't want to copy anyone so these answers are a little different than if I had joined earlier!
Ten Things I've Learned Teaching Kindergarten: (these are mostly silly and not deep)

1. If they can mess up your name, they will. If your name is at all complicated or rhymes with something entertaining, they'll use it!  I remember the first time I found out my students were calling me Mrs. Belch. I was initially offended ( for about 2 seconds) and then my husband and I thought it was hilarious. When I confronted the boys, their look of horror was priceless. We had a good laugh and because they knew my sense of humor, they'd occasionally call me Mrs. Belch to make me gasp with fake horror! More often, I am referred to as Mrs. Welchie, which I love dearly. It's truly an endearment that just seems to naturally happen around January of every year. There are 8th graders who call me Mrs. Welchie!

2. Kindergartners sing and dance everywhere! We'll be sitting at circle and you can hear someone in the bathroom belting out a tune. LOUDLY. It's the cutest thing ever. When I put on one of our clean up songs ("Firework", "It's Always a Good Time") they stop at certain spots and we all break out our dance moves. They're supposed to be back at circle by the time the song ends and clean super fast to get there early so they can really get into it. I taught them how to sit down like Ellen Degeneres does to stop the music . Hilarious! We need to send her a video!

3. I speak kinderese. See this post. I can decipher a 5 year old's mispronunciation of any word they may dream up! You know exactly what I'm talking about!

4. They love to see you being silly, laughing and being playful! Dance! Dress up!

5. Just listen. They say the most wonderful things, have very creative solutions and are very funny people! Have you ever seen the AT&T commercial where they adult is sitting at the table, head resting in his hands just listening to the kids as they answer questions? It's the BEST! Watch out, they'll tell you all their family's secrets. Believe half.

6. It's very important for them to see you fail, apologize and repair. Often. Teach them to take care of the people they've hurt.

8. Don't do everything for them. I can't believe how many kids can't zip their coat or even put it on by themselves! When an adult does everything they are basically telling the child that they're not capable. Build their confidence by letting them try. Accept their effort and their confidence soars! I always tell them I won't be with them in college so they better figure it out ( I'm nearby and their biggest cheerleader)!

9. A five year old's sense of fashion is wonderful. Let them dress themselves! I love to see parents relax with the perfectly chosen outfits. There's nothing better than a child walking through the door in polka dots, stripes, tutus and bow ties that they self selected. They walk with such confidence. If you accidentally wear two different colors of shoes to school they'll think you did it on purpose. And the next day they'll copy you!

10. Plan lots of time to get anywhere. If there's a caterpillar crawling across the sidewalk, we're going to need to look at it.  Have them bring a change of clothes to school! If it snows, we're going outside! If there are giant puddles, they'll jump in them!

There are so many more things they've taught me but it would take hours! They are the joy in my day and I can't imagine not teaching forever just to be with them! Each one is a gift and deserves love and attention! Isn't it the silliest way to spend a day? We have the best job ever! I love this:
I will let them be little... and love them like there is no tomorrow <3

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Favorite Pins Linky/Back to School

It's Favorite Pin Friday!! It's always tough to pick but I've decided to put some Back To School pins up that may help new teachers or those of us who like to change things up! Here goes...

I got to see Kathleen Pedersen at the I Teach K conference. She was great! I've used this manners packet before and absolutely LOVE it!

Monster Fun! Teaching Manners and Expectations

This is a fun name song. I apologize ahead of time because you'll be singing this little ditty all day long!

You can never have enough cute newsletters!"Editable" Monthly-themed Newsletters
I love greeting my kids at the door with a silly handshake or fist pump that we make up. If you really want to make them laugh, mess it up . They get all pushed out of shape and make you do it until you get it right! Dr. Jean has a wonderful list of fun greetings to say to the kids as they come through the door. 
Greetings for Morning Meeting
The Night Before School Jitter Glitter... love this!  Going to hand out this poem and a packet of glitter at small groups for families to do this with their children prior to first day of school.

'Getting to know you' activities for the first weeks. This and teaching about the school counselor!
Cute idea
Great idea for first picture of the year! I've done these before-just remember to do it on a cloudy day or put up one of those soccer pop up tent thingys so that you don't get a shadow.
Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten: You can find me over at........and some favorite pins!
Always a must!
First Week of School Ideas
Gotta love David!
Love this idea!!!
T.G.I.F! - Thank God It's First Grade!: Inventive Spelling Freebie!

Great letter to send parents when the kids start to take writing home.

Color Surprise Play Dough! The color is hidden inside the play dough and is revealed when they start playing with it!
Great to do on the first day! If your play dough turns into a color we'll have a magical year!
Kinder-Gardening: Art Portfolio
Not trying to toot my own horn, but this is a great portfolio given to me 20 years ago. Get these made ahead of time! Perfect for stashing all of their art projects.

What parent wouldn't love to have a silhouette and their child's wish for first grade! Great beginning of the year idea!
This is a great idea for the first week of school. Have the kids tell you what their wishes are for the year.

And finally...
I will let them be little... and love them like there is no tomorrow ♥

This is just a small sample of things I've found. Pinterest is loaded with thousands of great Back To School ideas. I was blown away when I met a new teacher who had never heard of TeachersPayTeachers or the education section of Pinterest!!!! It should be a part of their credentialing program!!!! Seriously!

I have no idea what I did to make the font so small and I can't seem to fix it. So sorry! If you know how I managed to goof up, leave me a comment!!!

I've got to go unpack from a great time at the I Teach K conference! I also need a day or two to process all the information! Whew!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Home and Throwback Thursday

I'm back from Vegas and to get here, I had to fly.  I'm not a good flyer and when we hit turbulence outside of Las Vegas I went into white-knuckle mode. I had a death grip on the arm rests and my eyes were clenched shut when the stewardess came by and asked if I'd like some peanuts or pretzels. I opened one eye, glanced up and said "BOTH!" I'm a stress eater from way back. All was well , and we landed without incident.

One more quick thing... while I was waiting for my airport shuttle, a stretch limo pulled up and all sorts of camera and recording people with fancy pants equipment started swarming around. A young lady ran up to me and explained that I might be in the background of whatever they were about to film and that I needed to sign a waiver. I signed away! My film debut and I'm wearing a stained shirt! Just my luck!

Anyway, she said the Bachelorette was supposedly in the limo!! Just as things were about to happen, my shuttle showed up and the driver flagged me over. He didn't look like the kind of guy who would understand so I missed my big chance. Too bad, I had on my I Teach K shirt, ready to REPRESENT!!

I'm really, really tired but I wanted to contribute to Throwback Thursday. Thank you First Grade Parade for hosting!

At the conference, Shari Sloane had a session on teaching children how to be scientists. We want them to learn how to observe, predict, make a hypothesis, test the hypothesis and record findings. It was a really informative session with lots of fun experiments for the kids to try. Soooooo,

A while back I made a little entomologist with my class and thought this might be fun for others to do when introducing science skills to kidlets this fall. I think I'll include what they would like to learn about in science this year, all typed up on a little paper clipboard instead of the ant-as seen in the picture.

We were learning about ants/ insects at the time! Here's the poem that I wrote to go with it:

Why does my teacher always say
I have ants in my pants at the end of the day?

Ants are insects, everyone knows,
And insects don't belong in anyone's clothes!

They're  little and buggy, like beetles and flies,
And all of them have two compound eyes.

And three pairs of legs that leave six little tracks,
And a head and an abdomen - and in between a thorax!

But my favorite thing is that when-a
Bug wants to talk he uses his antenna!

So my teacher is wrong. There are no ants on me.
It's just that I'm busy, as busy as a bee!

I hope this little throwback helps someone! Now, my clawfoot tub is calling my name! Goodnight everyone! 

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blogger's Meet Up

I'm in Vegas at the I Teach K Conference and have really enjoyed listening to all the fantastic presenters and getting lots of great ideas. And Eating (I bet I've gained a few pounds for sure!).

Last night was the Blogger's Meet Up! It was packed with both bloggers and blog stalkers. I'm not much of a mingler and felt more comfortable watching from afar (I was only brave enough to get a picture with Kim Adsit from Kinder Gals. She's very approachable and makes you feel like an old friend).
There was some serious networking going on! I sat at a table with some really wonderful teachers from Minnesota and Tennessee. We had a great time chatting and watching for famous bloggers.

They ended the evening with the most amazing raffle with really nice prizes. Practically everyone left with something! One of the teachers I was sitting with won a gift certificate to an SDE conference of her choice!!!!! Rachelle Smith and Natalie Crockett did a great job organizing the event and it was really obvious to me that these women are truly good buddies.

I forgot to mention that the top people from TPT were there too!

I planned to show you some of my favorite things from the conference but my camera is acting up! UGHHHHHH! You're just going to have to trust me until I get home and figure this problem out! I was told that you can only show things on your blog from the conference with the presenter's permission and you have to provide a link back to them. Their ideas are great!

I'll try to post something tomorrow! I hope you all get an opportunity next year to come to the I Teach K Conference! I'd like to come again too so I could meet more blogging buddies! What a great community!

See ya!

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Loving Wisdom to New Teachers" Linky

I'm linking up with Fabulously First! for her "Loving Wisdom to New Teachers" Linky.
Fabulously First
Thank you for hosting!  We are supposed to offer advice to those just starting out in the teaching profession. I've been teaching for 200 years so here's my little bit to add to the mix:

Greet your babies at the door with a smile and some direct eye contact. Let them know that it makes your day when they are there! When they've been gone I always tell them how much I missed them, that our class wasn't the same without them.

The two suggestions in the box were given to me my first year of teaching by two veterans:

 Those secretaries and janitors are some of the nicest people at school. Thank them constantly! 

And, be kind, be kind, be kind!

There you go! I love, love, love new teachers!

I'm running from session to session at the I Teach K Conference! So many cute ideas! I'm going to post my favorite idea from the day later on! See ya!

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