Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Final Countdown

This is it....the final countdown!
Yes, I only have 6 more days until I'm back at work!  Hard to believe how fast this year off went (oh, how I loved my maternity leave!).  I am getting more nervous by the day!

Here's the bad news....these are pictures of my classroom status as of Monday, the last time I was at's not pretty.

That little person you see is my daughter.  I brought her with me to help....well I moved at a much slower pace then I thought but at least she had fun!

Not all of that furniture (and other stuff) in there is mine.  You see, my class was used as a storage room last year and this summer.  The KG classes across the hall housed summer day camp until this past Monday so the furniture came out of those rooms and was placed (ever so neatly, right? HA!) into mine.  I did manage to put up fabric onto my bulletin boards (thanks for the idea Julie Lee) but that was a sight to see!  I was climbing over furniture - I have scratch marks to prove it!

So needless to say, I am feeling VERY overwhelmed.  I have only tomorrow and Friday to prep my class for Tuesday morning (Monday is a holiday here in Canada - Labour Day).  I'm going in bright and early tomorrow and my poor family probably won't see me until late Friday night!  Ha!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And the winner is.....

And the winner is...............

#32 - Kelly B aka Queen Bee

(sorry, I can't get the generator below to display the winning number!)

Thank you to everyone who entered ... we had 196 entries!
Kelly, please check your inbox for this wonderful prize!


Monday, August 15, 2011

The G-R-E-A-T Giveaway!

This is BIG news.....
Come one, come all and enter this awesome contest!
If you teach K-2, you most definitely need to get your hands on these resources!
I have teamed up with 4 *fabulous* bloggers to give one lucky winner a wonderful prize pack of MUST HAVE resources to help you through the year.  Believe me, so much great stuff is packed in all of these goodies - here's your chance to have them all!


3.  Babbling Abby's (The Inspired Apple)

5.  Alessia Albanese's Write the Room Center Student Activities (all 8 of them!)
Playdough Fun!

You have 4 chances to enter:
* One entry for following all 5 of our blogs.
* One entry for following all 5 of our TpT stores.
* One entry for following both Melissa Freshwater and Erica Bohrer on Facebook.
* One entry for blogging about this giveaway
(please leave a link)

Follow our TpT Stores:

Deanna Jump's TpT Store

The contest runs until Monday, August 22 (midnight eastern time).


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Playdough Club

Playdough has to be, by far, the most popular of my centres.  BUT....I find that after about a week my playdough gets gross!  Yuck! 

Our school gives us just a few tubs of Crayola playdough, certainly not enough to last us the whole year.  First of all, this stuff is not easy to make at all!  Second, it dries up within the week and makes crumbs EVERYWHERE.  Who wants to play with old, dried out playdough? So that's when one of my teaching partners thought of the Playdough Club.  It works like this...

Parents can sign up to make playdough (totally voluntary and you wouldn't believe how many want to do it!).  Those parents that participate make it about 3 times per year.  That's it!  I send out this note sometime during the first week of school. 
Click on the picture to download.

***NEW:  Download your own EDITABLE version of this letter for FREE by clicking here.***

For those parents that become members of our Playdough Club, I make a schedule and send them this note.  I usually get quite a few members so I am able to change my playdough weekly. 
Click on the picture to download. 

I have a fantastic Playdough Fun package on my TpT store if you want to check out great activities for this centre.
If you have any questions about the Playdough Club, please let me know!

Friday, August 05, 2011

It's Moving Day!

Horray!  I'm finally moving all that stuff from my basement back into my classroom!  I hope I can get it all done today or else I am going to have to rename this post as "Moving Week!".  Ha!

Just wanted to share with you my caddies that hold all the pencils, crayons, erasers, etc. that each group needs at their table.  I have 4 table groups, colour-coded, so students can easily find their matching bin and take it to their table when they need it.

I actually bought these bins a few years ago when I was in Buffalo for the day, at the Walmart.  BUT....when I went to Walmart here (in Toronto) last night I found them too...on sale for $3 each!  Problem was there wasn't many colours (not that I need any more) so I just got a couple of black ones to use for craft days.

I'll explain how I set them up.  Glue, crayons, pencils and scissors are the basics.  I have an area for "Mr. Space" which is an idea I found online years ago.  It is just a popsicle stick with a smiley face on it and the kids use it to leave spaces between their words.  I actually don't introduce Mr. Space until the second month of school or so.

You can click here if you would like the labels for the caddies.

At my Writing Centre, I like to put a small 3 drawer plastic bin to house things students can use while at this centre:  stencils, pictures (clip art or magazine pics), tools (pencils, rulers, etc.).  I have a seperate container for markers and another one for crayons. 

Click on the picture for the labels for the Writing Centre.
Sorry for the bad picture.  As I was moving this upstairs I ripped the bottom label (guess what I will be making later?).

Wish me luck today!  I hope I can accomplish everything in one day!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Write on ... with Write the Room Activities

When I first started teaching KG years back, I was told to have centres, one of them being "Write the Room".  Here's how it worked back then:  students grabbed a clipboard with a pencil tied to it (so they wouldn't lose it or spend time trying to find a pencil), a blank piece of paper and just wrote whatever words they could find around the room.  There wasn't much direction and it really wasn't fun!  That's when I new something had to be changed.

I have themes in my classroom which change every few weeks/month.  For instance, the themes for September are Back to School and Apples.  I decided to create a fun and engaging Write the Room Centre for my students.  I came up with coloured picture cards with themed words on them and scattered those around the room (on my closet doors, on the cubbies, on the walls, etc.).  Students had to find these words and record them.  That's when I knew I needed a better recording system then just a blank paper.  Themed write-the-room worksheets were created and asked students to do various things with the words they found.  Some worksheets were the same theme to theme (I did change the icons on them) and I also added new worksheets specific to the themed words. 

I love my Write the Room centre.  Students do too!  It is so much fun to discover the cute words!  I have made numerous Write the Room packages which are on SALE at my Teachers pay Teachers store all of this week.  Here are some of the other Write the Room packages I have:  Apples, Fall, Outer Space, Down on the Farm, and Under the Sea.  Come check them out!

Here is a freebie for you.  Click on the picture to get your Back to School Write the Room sample. 
Let me know what you think!

Write the Room - Back to School