Sweetheart, Sweetheart, Who Stole Your Heart?

This school year is going by way to fast! I can't believe that January is already half over and it is already time to start thinking about February. I'm sure it will go just as quickly as January with Groundhog Day, President's Day, Dental Health, and of course Valentine's Day to fill the days.

 Here is a quick game that we play at our Valentine's Day party that I submitted and had published in The Mailbox Magazine several years ago. It is played like Doggy, Doggy, Who Stole Your Bone only using an empty chocolate heart box instead of a bone.


A student sits in a chair with their back to the class and the heart is placed under the chair. After a chosen student "steals" the heart and hides it behind their back, the class recites the chant and "sweetheart" will turn around and take 2-3 guesses as to who stole their heart. If sweetheart guesses correctly, he/she gets to be the sweetheart again. If they do not correctly guess the theif, then the heart theif gets to be the sweetheart. Continue playing until all students have had the chance to be the sweetheart.

I'll back back soon with more February ideas. In the meantime, check out some of these February things...


Counting to 100 for the 100th Day

Its almost time for the 100th Day at my school. The kids are so excited because we have been counting the days since day 1 of school. By now most of the kids are able to count to 100 by ones, fives, and tens. Here is cheap and easy activity that I use to  help students with learning to count to 100 and recognizing their numbers.  

 I copied several 100 charts onto different colors of cardstock and laminated them. Then I cut a couple of them up into puzzle pieces and had the kids put the puzzles back together on top of an uncut 100 chart. As the kids got better at it they had to put them together without using the uncut 100 chart as a guide. 

We started off just cutting them into straight strips by the tens families so the kids would notice the patterns. 

These games are so easy to store... I just put them into a clear sheet protector so the pieces stay together and they fit perfectly in a file cabinet.

New Store Freebie!

I finally took the plunge and created a store on Teacher's Notebook! I have been pleased with Teachers Pay Teachers but the quarterly payout seems so far away sometimes and Teacher's Notebook offers immediate payment so we'll see how it goes! I don't have much listed in there but I am working on it even now. 

Come check out & download my free Love to Learn in Kindergarten flipchart for ActivBoard!

Did you know that SMARTboard & other interactive whiteboard users can also use ActivBoard flipcharts. Just download their free software at http://www.prometheanworld.com/en-us/education/products/software/activinspire. The link is near the bottom of the page under Why ActivInspire? 

Go download the software & then download this free flipchart. Comment below with your email if you get it to work & I'll send you an additional flipchart for free!

Snowcones, Snowballs, or Snow Cream!

The best part of teaching kindergarten is that all you have to do is add a novel item to a learning activity and the kids think it is the greatest thing and do not even realize that they are no longer just playing. For example, these cheap ice cream scoops that I found at the Dollar Store, a styrofoam bowl, and some ping pong balls quickly become an ice cream parlor to practice beginning sounds. 

I found some cheap ping pong plastic golf balls and taped some pictures to them (stickers would have worked much better and maybe a coat of Decoupage). The kids then use the ice cream scoop to add the "snowballs" into the correct bowls. 

 I have also used paper snow cone cups with the the letters written on them to hold the "snowballs" but they didn't hold up as well. The kids really loved them but I had to rig something to hold them upright while the kids did the activity because they just weren't quite coordinated enough to manage them on their own without the balls rolling all over the place.

A snack of Snow Cream flavored ice cream (or real Snow Cream for those of you with real snow) makes the perfect end to this activity.


Snow Time!

If you haven't used any of this Instant Snow then you are really missing out! It only takes a small scoop and water and it instantly expands up to 100 times its original size. Although pricey ($16 for a small 8 oz jar), it does last a long time. It is cool to the touch and while it isn't good for making snowballs, the kids love playing with it and searching for white objects (arctic animals such as snowy owl, Snowshoe Hare, Polar Bear, Arctic Fox, etc) that are hidden in it. The best part of all is after everyone has played in it I let them know that this "snow" is the stuff that they put in baby diapers! Oh, the giggles, gags and laughs! If a diaper is handy, then we do a little water/diaper experiment to see how it works. Perfect way to have a Snow Day at school!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you! This means that for the next 3 months everything I write the date on will most likely have a funny looking 13 from where I try to camouflage the 12 that I will write by mistake!

My Christmas break has wonderful and I have been blessed much more than I deserve! The break has been so wonderful in fact that when I got to the dentist office this afternoon for a cleaning, I realized I had forgotten to finish putting on my makeup and fixing my hair! I guess the jeans were squeezing the oxygen to my brain after spending the last week in pajamas and yoga pants. The weather has been so gloomy and rainy here that the very thought of getting dressed up and leaving the house has had absolutely no appeal to me. My boys have been content to stay home and play their new board games, video games, and have Ping Pong battles so it was an easy choice to stay home and be lazy productiveI have officially watched EVERY Hallmark Channel Christmas movie multiple times, cleaned out and organized closets and cabinets (the garage sale pile is taking over the garage), redecorated my bedroom and bathroom, read a few books, and did tons of work on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I finally feel like I am catching up on "life"! I am sure I will be ready to go full force when we get back to school on January 7th!

We are planning to do a unit on Jan Brett books when we get back from break. Here is a picture of the story masks that I printed out years ago from the Jan Brett website and attached to paint stir sticks.  Aren't they adorable?! Click the link above to visit her website or click on the picture below to go directly to the story masks/puppets.
 We will use them to retell The Mitten....that reminds me that I need to buy a new white sheet and cut it into the shape of a mitten for the kids to crawl into when retelling the story. The kids always love this activity and they always fight over who gets to be the bear because they want to be the one to let out a very big "sneeze" and blow all of the animals out of the mitten.  

In my home living center, the kids will "sew" mittens like Matti's Grandma (from the book) using plastic canvas that has been cut into mitten shapes and these very dull, plastic needles with yarn attached to them. I have had these for about 15 years and only paid 75 cents for 3 sheets of plastic canvas and $1 for 12 of the large plastic safety needles....a $1.75 well spent!

Some of the kids get quite creative and "sew" letters, shapes, or  other designs in their mittens

while others just practice outlining the mitten 

and then there is the "talented" child that leaves you wondering how did they do that?!?!  The good news is that yarn is so inexpensive that you can just cut it off and not worry about untangling the mess!