Oh Summer! How I love thee! Let me count the ways! Sleeping late, sun, sandy beaches, getting lost in a good book! I love summer! Unfortunately I have two more graduate clases to take this summer but oh boy I can't wait to have that degree in my hand and the larger paycheck in my bank account! The time has gone by quickly and I actually enjoyed my time back in school and meeting new friends.

I have big plans to get many projects for TPT completed this summer and revising many of the "older" things. I plan to have a back to school sale in the near future but here are some of the things I have been working on so far...Check them out at my TPT store!

August Back to School Calendar for ActivBoard

September Calendar for ActivBoard

 The ABCs of Kindergarten Parent Orientation

Alphabet Express

Alphabet Road

This is just a few of the things I have been working on. Keep your eyes out for more things to come! Also, if you have already purchase items from me please remember to check your inbox on TPT throughout the summer for updates. You will be able to  redownload the revised product for free. This will be especially helpful if you have been purchasing my ActivBoard Calendars because I will be updating them for the 2012-2013 school year

Have a blessed summer!

Here I Am!

My poor, little, lonely blog has been missing me! I guess I got lost in all of the May activitites and had a Graduate May-mini session which was basically a crash course crammed into 3 weeks! However, tonight was my last class for 2 weeks and then just 2 more summer classes and I'll have that degree and more importantly...the pay raise!

Many people do ocean units in the month of May so here is a quick idea that you may or may not already do. I love Eric Carle's books and use them all throughout the school year. When we do our ocean unit, I love to read Mister Seahorse and we learn all about seahorses.

We also talk about Eric Carle's art work and then visit his website where he shows exactly how he creates the pictures in his books.  Visit his website here! We then make our own seahorses in a similar fashion.  I am so sorry I do not have a seahorse pattern to share with you...I believe mine came from a Carson Dellosa book. 

Each child gets a page with 2 seahorses on it. They lay small squares of different colors of tissue paper on the seahorse, overlapping the pieces until no white shows on the seahorse.  Next we spray the tissue paper with a water botttle and lay it aside to dry.The tricky part is finding the cheap kind of tissue paper that will "bleed"! The dollar store is a great place to find it.  PLEASE test your tissue paper before starting this project just in case it does not work!   

When the tissue paper is mostly dry (usually a couple of hours), the kids peel the tissue papers off and throw them in the trash. The tissue papers "bleed" onto the seahorse and it leaves behind beautiful "stains" that blend together and look very similar to Eric Carle's art work. Once they are cut out they are simply beautiful!

I have also used washable markers to color the seahorse different colors and spray with water. After they are dry, the results are very similar. We cut these out and they make a wonderful bulletin board! So sorry I don't have more pictures to go with this project or a picture of the finished bulletin board. We actually did an ocean unit early in the school year and I didn't think to take more pictures.

Well it is time to wrap up this school year and finally find time to breath! Now I am off to find a condo for our beach trip coming up in 2 weeks! I am so ready to get my toes in the sand and my nose in a good book! 

Block Center Literacy Activity

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I LOVE the last month of school in all of its craziness! The academic pressure is over (if they don't have it now, they won't get it this year) and there are so many fun activities to do. It seems like the days fly by and we get to do some really fun things with our sweeties that we just don't have time for throughout the school year.  This is also the time of year that I begin to reflect on what worked and what didn't work and set goals and plans for things I would like to change or improve for the new school year.  Beware of the following sentence....I am actually excited about the next school year! Please don't throw rocks at me & watch your language!!! Its just that we met our new principal this week and I am excited about some of the changes that I expect we will see. It has been an emotional week with the retirement celebrations for our wonderful principal and then the announcement of the new principal.  Talk about a roller coaster of emotions!

With all of the excitement and craziness I needed a little relaxation therapy by creating new things! I love to escape the real world and get on my laptop and be creative and make new things. I found a little time here and there to squeeze some "therapy" in this week! I get so excited when I find new ideas for my block center so I was thrilled when I found this road graphics set to create new things with! The first thing I made is something I already had but made better with these cute graphics from Scrappin Doodles.
Check it out here! 


Students connect the pieces to make one continuous road. Fill a toy dump truck with magnetic, foam, or other alphabet letter manipulatives. Students then drive the dump truck along the road and "deliver" the letters to the correct beginning sound picture.

I also created this Alphabet Express Activity. I will probably put this in my block center also so the kids can stretch it out on the block center rug. At the beginning of the year they will put in alphabetical order. Later in the year I can use them again because I have the alphabet tubs of miniture objects from Lakeshore Learning so I plan to have my students put the objects on the correct train car according to the beginning sounds. Check those out here!


It is past my bedtime now, but stay tuned for
more things to come this weekend!

Common Core Report Card suggestions please!

Do you hear that? Yes, that is me screaming inside! This time of year is always so busy and I have to live day by day, minute by minute. There is so much to do and the things I WANT to do have to be put on the back burner for a few weeks. To name just a few... kindergarten registration, kindergarten prescreening testing, kindergarten graduation, principal's retirement festivities all weekend long, birthday celebrations, report card committee, moving my son home for college for the summer, awards programs, field trips,  new car shopping, home improvement projects, and now my graduate program is having a May mini session for 3 weeks that includes a ton of independent studying! Now you want to scream too don't you? I'm sure you are all just as overwhelemed as I am but just hold on....I promise, summer isn't too far away! We will make it!

I think the report card committee meeting today is what made my heart skip a few beats. Along with 47 other states, we will be transitioning to the Common Core Curriculum standards and will implement it full force next year. Fortunately we had a year to begin implementing and revising our curriculum as needed but the problem now is the report card. How in the world are you guys getting all of those standards on the report card AND making it parent friendly? After looking at samples of other districts' report cards, I have come to the conclusion that no one has really come up with a good way to communicate to parents what their child needs help with and give a clear picture of how the student is really doing!  Any suggestions? Anyone happy with their new Common Core Standards based report card & want to share?

In other news, I will be participating in the TPT Teacher Appreciation Sale this weekend (May 6-8). I was hoping to get some back to school things ready for those of you who are already planning for a new school year or those of you with school money left over for this school year. Now stop laughing! I'm sure there are a few teachers out there that didn't spend all of their money before the school year even began like I did!  Drop in and visit my store and load your cart up. Then come back on Saturday, Sunday or Monday to check out and enjoy 25% off of your purchases from my store