Friday, 2 November 2012

Make your own Washroom Passes!

I love how cute these washroom passes turned out!  I simply chopped a scrap piece of 1 x 2 into the appropriate length and then pointed the ends using my chop saw.

I dug out the acrylic craft paints (the cheap ones I bought from the dollar store years ago) and painted up the wood to look like pencils.  I used a sharpie to outline the pencil eraser and the shaved part and then to print "boys" and "girls" on each pencil.

I don't have a picture, but I later drilled a hole in the eraser part and threaded a piece of twine in through the hole.  These pencils now hang on the cupboard by our classroom door.  When a child needs to use the washroom, he/she simply grabs the pencil and places it on their desk.  This way I know who is gone and it's easy to manage how many people can leave the room at one time.

Early in the year there were ALOT of trips to the bathroom simply because the whole concept of putting a pencil on your desk was really exciting for the little ones.  Now we're all good and it's a great tool!

Easy, cheap, cute decor!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Puppet Theater DIY

So I was driving to the corner store yesterday and found what turned into this adorable puppet theatre!

Finished Puppet Theater

It started out like this
Wood structure in side of the road shape!

I got my friend to go pick it up for me and bring it home.  I was trying to figure out what it may have been originally used for?  Some kind of kitchen thing I'd guess?  I really have no idea. Imagine this structure covered in layers of dust and cobwebs and gunk.  I used TSP and the whole bit to clean it up nice.   I even got out my handy dandy steamer

 I was originally thinking I could turn it into something for the laundry room when all of a sudden I was struck by the shape of the top!  It looked like a puppet theatre.

I primed it and then painted it... and sewed the curtains with fabric I already had at home!  I used a $2 curtain rod from the dollar store to hold the top curtain where the show takes place, and just stapled hemmed fabric to the inside of the theatre to hide the performers (and to hide puppets and stuffed animals).

Here's the finished product

I LOVE it!!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

How to Keep Markers with their Lids!

These have changed my life with markers!  LOL!

years ago, before blogs became so popular, I had an endless and disorganized "bookmark" system on my computer filled with preschool and kindergarten teaching websites.  I saw a post where someone had filled a margarine or yogurt tub with plaster of paris and then set the lids of the markers in to dry.  It was great, but not very "cute"  and I needed cute in my classroom.  

From there,  I saw another teacher site (again,  it was maybe 7 or 8 years ago so I'm sorry I don't remember who to send you to) a woman who had a system similar to the one I have up above.  If you know the site, please comment so I can put a link to their site!

Anyhow, is an easy DIY project to store your markers that you can whip up for your classroom from scrap wood, a drill, a spade (if that's what you call it), and a hammer.  Hot Glue is optional.

I started with a few scrap pieces of 1 x 4 and 1 x 2 wood.  You could use whatever wood you have at home.  Most people have something laying around in their basement or garage.  Drill holes in the wood using one of these.  I THINK you call them a spade but I'm not sure.  

The small one is for the Crayola Original Fine Line Markers, and the large one is for the Crayola Original Broad Line Markers. 

 When you drill the holes, the cap won't fit in unless you hammer it.  This is important because you want a super tight fit.  I've used two of these in my kindergarten classroom for the past seven years and a lid has NEVER popped out.  When the markers run out, you simply replace the markers and use the new lids for something else (I always threw them in the craft centre).

So,  go from this

to this!

Some little people might not have the strength in their hands to pull the markers off the base.  If this is the case,  simple SIT the markers in the appropriate lid.  The colours do NOT dry out if they are just sitting there.  When I use them for my charts, I put one hand on the base and pull the marker out.  I love these and so have my kindergarteners!

Birthday Balloons with Curly Straws

Thanks to the wonderful pinterest, I came up with my first DIY project for my grade one classroom. I've been teaching kindergarten years, and am just moving up to grade one!  I'm super excited and told myself I'd try to make a few things for my classroom each week on the holidays.  Here's my first one!

Here are a couple I found on pinterest or google.  This one is from Once Upon a First Grade Adventure.  She has a great printable for you to use here too!!!

This one is from One Happy Teacher

And this one is the one I chose to follow most closely because had a bunch of card stock paper in fun bright colours in my grade one classroom that I could use up. I also love the magnetic letters.  I have trillions of them in my classroom so this is how I'm going to set it up!  I love it!  Go check out her blog at Mrs. Ring's K-Crew Kids.  She even has a printable for the balloons!  

And finally,  here is mine!  

Thanks, Mrs Ring!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Printable Camping Theme Concentration Game

Here's a camping twist on the classic concentration game (CLICK HERE)

Print two copies of this activity. Turn the cards upsdie down on the table and have students pick two cards at a time. If they are a match, students keep the cards! If they're not a match, lay them back down and try again!

I have lots of other printables for your kindergarten, preschool, daycare or grade one classroom over on my old website.  Feel free to take a look at play2learnprintables

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Camping Theme Math Printable for Primary Grades

Here is another free printable for you to use in your kindergarten or grade one classroom.  (CLICK HERE)  for a camping graph and spinner for a math centre!

Use this spinner to play a graphing game with your kindergarten or grade one students.  Print it on card stock and then laminate the spinner.  Then, use a pin to poke through the middle of the circle.  Place a paperclip on a brad and then put the brad through the hole.  Bend the clips from the brad and then flip the spinner.  If you land on a green tent, then put a marker on the column with the tent.  

You can buy the paper fasteners (we call them brads, I am not sure why) from any office supply store.  

Come  back soon for more free printables for use in your kindergarten, grade one, or early primary classroom!  

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Camping Printables for Kindergarten or Grade One

Here's a cute little game for you to use in your classroom in Kindergarten or Preschool, or for your summer camp!  It's a roll and build game from my old site at play2learnprintables.

(CLICK HERE for your free campfire printable)
This is a fun game that enhances turn taking skills in your kindergarten, preschool or young primary child.  

Print both the construction piece and the game pieces. Cut out the game pieces and then laminate. Use a die and have children build their creation. Turn this into a fun game.  Children take turns rolling the die once.  If they roll a six, then they add the piece next to the six on the construction sheet.  If they roll a six again, then they miss that turn.

Come back for more free printables!  I'll be posting regularly.

Friday, 6 July 2012

More Kissing Hand Activites (including Calendar)

As promised, I'm back with some more Kissing Hand printables for you to use in your classroom.

Here are some cute calendar pieces and monthly headers for you!  (CLICK HERE)

Here are some days of the week cards for you to print and use for your daily calendar in your primary classroom or preschool.  (CLICK HERE)

Use heart shaped erasers to line up beside the number on the card. If there is a number 3 next to Chester and his mom, then place 3 hearts in the row beside them! Enjoy playing Kissing Hand number match (CLICK HERE)

This is a fun Roll and Build Game.  Print the instruction sheet and the game pieces (to save ink, you can cut out a square of blue for the background). Cut out the game pieces and then laminate. Use a die and have children build their creation! Make this into a fun game. Players take turns rolling the die once. If they roll a six, then they add the piece next to the six on the game instruction sheet. If they roll a six again, they miss that turn! (CLICK HERE)

CLICK HERE for a black and white version  

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Kissing Hand activities

These are all activities from my website from years ago.  Some of you might be interested so I thought I would share here in the blogging world (which, I'm sure you can tell, I'm new at!)

The Kissing Hand is a back to school favourite in the primary grades, and I've often started off September with a lot of learning focusing on the book.

Here is a cute Kissing Hand Graphing and Spinner Activity for you to download (CLICK HERE)

This is a clothespin counting activity.  Have students count the "kissing hands" on each card and then place a clothespin on the correct number. Place a small heart sticker on the back of the correct number for self checking!  (CLICK HERE)

Next I have a Kissing Hand math mat.  Use heart shaped erasers as counters to add to your mat. Roll a die or choose a number from a bag and add the corresponding number of heart erasers to the handprints. Teach one to one correspondence and numeration! (CLICK HERE)

Kids love playing concentration!  Here's one for the Kissing Hand (CLICK HERE).  Print two copies of this activity, cut out and laminate. Lay the pictures upside down and then flip over two at a time. If you get a match, then you keep the cards!

So I'm out of time for now, but I have more activities for you to see...  Either check out my Kissing Hand Page on my old website at   or click "Follow" on my blog so that you can see the rest without having to click... I'll be putting it up later today!

Thanks for checking out my blog!  I hope to make this a great resource!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Watermellon Activities

Years ago I had a website called play2learnprintables.  It was a place where I put all of the literacy or math centers I made to keep track of them.  I shared them online.  I'm going to pull them here so you can have easier access to them!

Print this grid to use for a learning activity with your students. Children use a die to roll a number. They then place a small object like a foam piece on the appropriate number of images. Great for preschool, daycare, kindergarten or primary teachers! Think about picnics sun and watermellon!

Play this as you would the traditional tic tac toe game. This simple activity helps teach children higher order thinking skills!

Teach young children the days of the week using these fun thematic cards!

Cut out the cards and laminate! Students then read the phonetic or sight words to sort onto the appropriate mat. Use the large letter tiles to help build the word before sorting. To self check, keep a library pocket on the back of each card with a copy of the correct words on a card (the template has "in" and "not in" words grouped together)

In the Word/Not in the Word

Cut the cards below on the black line.  Children count the seeds on each watermellon and pin a clothespin on the correct number. For self checking, place a sticker on the back of the correct number so the student can flip and check!

Watermellon Count Clothespin Game

Use black beans or foam pieces as seeds (some spray paint lima beans). Match the correct number of seeds to each watermelon!

Number Words

Use black beans or foam pieces as seeds (some spray paint lima beans). Match the correct number of seeds to each watermelon!

Watermellon Digit

Print two copies of this activity. Turn the cards upside down and students flip to find matches! These high frequency words help encourage reading fluency!
watermelon concentration

And finally,  here's a book for your individual students. 

watermellon flip book

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Journal Writing on the FIRST DAY (Kindergarten)

A few years ago I read KidWriting by Eileen Feldgus and Isabel Cardonick.  It shaped the way I teach writing to children in kindergarten and I wanted to share a few ideas with you.

Here is a picture of the chart we used on the first day.  I used this when teaching junior and senior kindergarten combined.  This means I had three year olds in my class. YES!  They wrote in their journal on the first day too!  As suggested in the book, I asked the little ones to raise their hand if they knew how to write. Many were cautious and many reluctant to raise their hand.  I let them know before we started the lesson that ALL of them already DID know how to write and I was going to show them how!

First I show them straight line writing. I draw it on the chart and then encourage my kindergartens to follow with me using magic writing. We start at the left and draw a straight line in the air  and make a dramatic "POOF!" for the period at the end.  We continue progressing in difficulty through wiggly writing, zig zag writing, loopty loop writing, things that look like letters, letters that we know, listening for sounds and then grown up writing!

The children are then encouraged to head to the tables and write at a level that is appropriate for them.  I remind them that if they can writing using sounds, it would be just CRAAAAZY to write using loopty loop writing, or if they can write using wiggly writing then WHY would they write using straight line writing... I punctuate this discussion with my best gasp for effect so that my kindergarteners try their best and I don't have someone who can write phonetically writing using zig zag writing.

This chart stays up all year on my writing board.  We refer to it over and over again during writers workshop throughout the year.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Success Criteria for Cubbies (Kindergarten)

In our kindergarten classroom we have cubbies.  There are days, early in the school year, where you can't see the floor!  Coats, boots, shoes, backpacks, lunchpails, extra clothes and papers are strewn anywhere and everywhere.  In theory, that nice looking cubby with a cute sticker label for each child would be EASY to keep tidy, right?  Ha ha... I wish I took a picture of the "before" cubbies.  I don't have a photo, but here is what they look like

In order to keep them neat, I involved the students in making a chart that included everything we needed to think about when we were leaving our cubby area.  We brainstormed ideas and this is what we came up with.

We refer to the chart over and over and over again early in the year and it works WONDERS!  When I did the chart in class, I drew the pictures beside the sentences. Later, I took pictures and glued them on to make it more "real" to them.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Bang Song (sight words)

Several years ago an online friend named Lori introduced me to "The Popcorn Song."    It is sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and is the best invention yet to help kids learn their sight words.  Since learning about the song, and sharing it at a kindergarten meeting way back when, many teachers in our board use this and all see the success! 
Every morning we sing this song in fun ways, and throughout the day, children are excited to see a popcorn word in shared writing, in a story book, on the smart board, or hidden inside a big word!  I LOVED the popcorn song SO much but wanted to expand upon it and use music to help my little ones learn ALL of the pre-primer Dolch words.

About five years ago, I came up with a NEW song that would help my students do just that.  I included in it a FEW of the words from the popcorn song, but wanted to make sure that every word from the list was there.  I tried to make it catchy, and used rhyming words to help with the flow.  We sing this song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

Here it is!  Please feel free to share, but PLEASE link back to my post here as I'm new to this blog thing and would like to get some followers!  Thanks so much!

Click here for a printable version to make your own Bang Song!

Happy Reading!