Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A little shopping at Ikea!

I just love Ikea....I mean LOVE it!
It's a store that has so much, for not that much money.
Every year, before I head back to work, I spend all day a few hours shopping at Ikea for things I can use in my classroom. 
Here's what I found last weekend...
These paper lights are my absolute favourite!
I bought the ones on the right last year and have them in my classroom....guess how much....under $10!
I think I'm going to go back and pick up the light on the right too!
The students simply adore the lamps all over the classroom.
These small table lamps are perfect too - for just about anywhere in my class!
They add a perfect decorative element as well as being functional.
I found these curtains for only $5 (for a set of 2) and so I had to pick them up.  I'm hoping to hang them over my Dramatic Centre to give it more of a cozy feeling.
I couldn't resist these beautiful baskets....don't know exactly what I plan on doing with them but they will most definitely be used for something!
I think these $1 photo frames are the best find at Ikea.  I mean, who can't use these photo frames for just about anything...displaying student work, instructions, pictures, and so much more!
Baskets, baskets and more baskets....a teacher can never have enough, right?!?!
Last year, I started adding plants to my classroom, which gave it a feeling as if you were at home or outdoors.  I love how plants look and feel in the classroom, so, of course, I picked up a few more.
These small and large planting baskets were on SALE (what a great deal!) - not only did I get some for my new plants, I plan on putting the small blocks from the block centre in them too.
Just as I was leaving, I found these three books and added them to my cart...I simply can't have enough books!
 
I know I will be back to Ikea before school starts in a few weeks time.
 
If you'd like to see pictures of my classroom from last year, click here.
Stay tuned for updated classroom set up photos coming soon!


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Skill Building Take-Me-Home BUNDLE!

I am going into my 10th year of teaching.. all of which is in kindergarten!
I've noticed, year after year, that some students could benefit from extra practice with certain skills.
As much as you may work with them, there are always a few that require extra practice and time.
So that's why my teaching partner, Ann-Marie Parisi, and I created these skill-building take-me-home packs
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skill-Building-Take-Me-Home-Pack-Alphabet-1333381
Here is the Alphabet pack - it's full of letter matching, letter-sound correspondence, beginning sounds and more!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skill-Building-Take-Me-Home-Pack-Phonics-1333494
This one focuses on Phonics - spelling simple CVC words, beginning and ending sounds, CCVC words and  more!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skill-Building-Take-Me-Home-Pack-BUNDLE-1335071
You can use these packs in so many ways!
We are getting ours ready to use as "Take-Me-Home" Packs - we will be sending them home with students who need extra reinforcement and can practice with their parents or siblings at home.
Best part is - all of the activities inside are hands-on!
(There are also worksheets included with each activity if you would like to use these as part of your assessment.)
You can also use these activities with your small groups to review key concepts.
I love that you can store them all in Ziploc bags and keep them handy for when you need them!
We keep all of the activities for each unit in a large zippered pouch.  We found these at the Dollar Store.  Each activity comes with a label to print and use for the front of each bag. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skill-Building-Take-Me-Home-Pack-BUNDLE-1335071
Each activity (or game) is stored in a Ziploc bag.  We put the instructions page in a sheet protector. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skill-Building-Take-Me-Home-Pack-BUNDLE-1335071
All of the activities then go into the zippered bag.
There is a parent sign-out sheet as well included with each.
You can use these packs in so many ways!
We are getting ours ready to use as "Take-Me-Home" Packs - we will be sending them home with students who need extra reinforcement and can practice with their parents or siblings at home.
Best part is - all of the activities inside are hands-on!
(There are also worksheets included with each activity if you would like to use these as part of your assessment.)
You can also use these activities with your small groups to review key concepts.
I love that you can store them all in Ziploc bags and keep them handy for when you need them!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skill-Building-Take-Me-Home-Pack-BUNDLE-1335071
We have 2 activities so far, but will be creating lots more!
If you are interested in purchasing the BUNDLE it's at a discounted price for limited time.
The price will increase as we add more to it.
Best part is...
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Alessia-Albanese
everything in my store is on SALE for 20% off starting tomorrow for 2 days!
Don't forget to use coupon code BTS14 for an additional 10% off.
That's HUGE savings!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our Daily Schedule

I don't have a calendar in my classroom anymore.
I got rid of it a couple of years ago.
Truthfully, it took a long time for us to review the date and most kids just couldn't sit still for that AND the lesson that followed.
Instead I replaced it with our Daily Schedule.
(Here's a picture of our Bright Links board at the front of our classroom - the schedule is on the bottom part of the board)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-Schedule-Cards-805672
   I created this Daily Schedule to post in our classroom for all the students to see because each year, especially the first few weeks of school, I have many students that constantly ask (while crying at the same time!) when they are going home.  We review what our day looks like each morning - it takes a total of 30 seconds - and it helps all the students in my class know what we have planned.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-Schedule-Cards-805672
Do you see the round magnet in the picture above?  The Helper of the Day moves it over top of each card as the day progresses so that the children can see where we are and what's left to do before home time (or a special activity).
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-Schedule-Cards-805672
I have created so many cards!  This is just a small glimpse of them.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-Schedule-Cards-805672
I keep the cards in a magnetic photo sleeve so that I can put them up quickly and easily.
I found these at the Dollar Store - it comes in a pack of 2 sleeves.
Just slide the card in and voila!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-Schedule-Cards-805672
You can click on the picture above to take you to my TpT store and view my Daily Schedule Cards.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back to School SALE!

It's just about that time of year...teachers are getting ready to head back to school!
I know that I continuously think about my classroom, even during the school months.  I head to a local store and see something and immediately think "This would be perfect for my class!".
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Alessia-Albanese
So my friends at Freebielicious and I decided to throw a Back to School SALE in all of our
Everything in my store is on SALE for 20% off for 2 days only - July 27 & 28!
So hurry over!
Here are a few things you might like to help you start the year...
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guided-Reading-FUN-1135539
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Calendar-and-Planner-updated-for-2014-2015-EDITABLE-133415
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guided-Reading-FUN-1135539

Monday, July 21, 2014

Poking Fun!

My students love to poke!
Yes, they do!
By poking, I mean using a push pin and poking out a picture.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poking-Fine-Motor-Fun-1338255
This is an activity that takes lots of time and concentration.  It builds such endurance to complete an activity because they have to sit for quite a while!
And I love that it strengthens their fine motor skills.
 
I actually got this idea from my daughter's Montessori teacher who she was fortunate enough to have for the past three years in Casa.  My daughter would bring home the most amazing pieces that she worked so hard to create.
I noticed her handwriting improved too, because she was strengthening her fine motor skills.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poking-Fine-Motor-Fun-1338255
This is such an easy activity to prep.
I like to use cork boards (bought these 2 for a dollar at the Dollar Store), large push pins and various picture templates.
To differentiate this activity, you can ask students to use various sizes of push pins.
The larger ones are easier to use than the smaller ones.
You can also reduce or enlarge the pictures.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poking-Fine-Motor-Fun-1338255
I like to have the students glue their finished product to a piece of construction paper.
On one side is the poke out, on the other is the outline.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poking-Fine-Motor-Fun-1338255
I just created a pack of templates you can use as a fine motor activity in your classroom.  It's a great beginning of the year activity too, as you work with students who struggle to hold a pencil.
It's on SALE until tomorrow!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Getting ready for Back To School? Freebielicious can help!

I know you must be thinking...what in the world?  This girl just started her summer vacation!
Yes, that's true but I'm always thinking about Back to School...and planning and prepping away this summer!

Last year was a HUGE year for me...
- I moved into a brand new (and gigantic!) classroom
- We started the new Full Day Kindergarten Play-Based/Inquiry-Based program (which, by the way, I am loving!)
- I revamped the way my room looks so that it's much more natural looking
http://www.educents.com/back-to-school-curriculum-bundle.html
This year I plan on continuing to bring more of nature inside my room, adding plants, branches and anything else "outdoorsy" I can find this summer!
 
One favourite activity in my classroom is the Write the Room Centre.
http://www.educents.com/back-to-school-curriculum-bundle.html
http://www.educents.com/back-to-school-curriculum-bundle.html
http://www.educents.com/back-to-school-curriculum-bundle.html
For the Write the Room Literacy Centre, the students use clipboards (with a pencil attached to it with yarn for easy access) and choose a worksheet.  I have a variety of worksheets in each pack to differentiate between the students in my classroom and also so that a student can do this centre more than once during the week.
All of the theme-based words are printed on large graphics which makes them a little easier to identify around the room.  I tape them everywhere - on the cubbies, doors, walls, cupboards, behind chairs...everywhere!  And the students have to go on a "hunt" to find these words and record them.
Some worksheets are as easy as just recording the words you find.
Other worksheets as to write words according to syllables, label a picture, find the matching word to each picture, etc.
My students can't get enough of this!
And it's super easy to prep - just cut the pictures out, laminate and tape around the room!
I have so many themes to choose from that you can do one theme per week!
 http://www.educents.com/back-to-school-curriculum-bundle.html
Here's your chance to try my Fall Fun - Write the Room Literacy Center, perfect for the beginning of the year!
 
And so me and my girls at Freebielicious have teamed up with Educents with some instant downloads for you! Loaded with great products for back to school including book studies, craftivities, classroom prep, and content materials for back to school!  With 23 instant downloads... you have to check it out!  

http://www.educents.com/back-to-school-curriculum-bundle.html

My product included will surely be loved by your students!
For a limited time it is $34.99 from Educents which is 69% off!  Twenty-three products for your kinder and first grade classrooms and over 1200 pages of materials from some of your favorite teachers!  It's a bundle you are sure to LOVE!
 
Take a moment to take a peek at some of the other teachers featured in this bundle - what that have going on for back to school and what they are featuring in this deal too! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

We have a winner!

Thank you
to everyone who entered my BUNDLE giveaway last week!
 
And the winner is....
Congratulations Kimberly A.!
Please check your e-mail for this HUGE prize!
 
Another ENORMOUS announcement is coming tomorrow....check back here on my blog to see what it's all about...you won't want to miss it!