Saturday, December 19, 2015

December...What a Busy Month!!!

If you are a teacher and you are reading this, most likely you will agree that December is one of the busiest months of the year!
Juggling between instruction, assessments, holiday projects, fundraisers, crafts for the families, classroom decorating, plus all the things going on in your personal life (specially if you plan to travel during the holidays), it's not an easy task. No wonder by the last day of school before the winter break, you are completely exhausted!

Here it is just a sample of some of the things we did this month (some freebies included!):

We started the month by preparing suitcases and materials for Holidays Around the World:

 The back of the suitcase displays a very handy world map, so students can keep track of each country they "travel" to.

 As we visited each of the nine countries, we collected, read, and colored these brochures:

 Each brochure provides fun facts about holidays traditions for each country:

You can click on the image below to check it out in my store:

We also filled applications for a very important job: Elves'!
So, I took pictures of all my students wearing an elf hat, and we  made this craft:

Here are the projects on display. Inspired by the wonderful graphics of EDUCLIPS, I made the big elf you see in the middle:

The big elf is holding a "HELP WANTED" sign. You can download it for free, just click on the picture:

Another fun project we made was the gingerbread boy and girl:

Of course, since we were on the topic of the Gingerbread Man, we had to have a Gingerbread Man HUNT!!!
 This is the first letter we found in our classroom, along with yummy gingerbread cookies:

This letter lead to a series of clues all around our school, until we finally found him!!

Then the debate started: should we eat him???
I must say... he was delicious!
(If you are interested on the letters for the Gingerbread Man Hunt, they are included as a bonus on my Gingerbread Man Writing Unit).

We had a lot of fun with the Gingerbread Man, but one of our favorites projects was making the Magic Reindeer food with this adorable puppets:

We also did some reindeer writing: What do reindeer do after Christmas??

We had a blast making these Christmas trees with ice cream cones and lots of frosting:

We worked very hard making these gifts for our families: a cute snowman candle holder, made with an empty baby food jar, and this adorable ornament with students' hand prints.

To download for free these editable tags (you can type the year) with a cute poem for the hand print ornament click on the picture below:

To decorate the gift bag, instead of a bow, a made these very easy and economical snowflake ornaments:
You can buy these ornaments at the Dollar Tree (each packet contains 5 snowflakes). You just need to glue your students' pictures to the center and on top, glue a clear glass gem (also from the Dollar Tree). Very cute and super easy.

For my students this year I bought these dollar books from Scholastic using my points:

I wrapped the books and attached a candy cane with this tag (click on the picture to download the editable tag for free):

All the activities, all the hard work, was all worth it! Yes, I am completely drained, but we had a ball and we made so many precious memories together!
Now it's time to rest! Until next year!

Thank you for reading! Wishing you a very happy Holiday Season,

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Spotlight with a Fall Freebie!

Welcome to another week of this fabulous SPOTLIGHT SATURDAY hosted by KINDERGARTEN DRAGONS! If you would like to participate, just click here and learn more about it!

Lately I've been very busy making my interactive flip-books and I can't tell you how much fun my class is having when working with them. Students even ask me to make more for topics we talk about in class. They say: "You should make a book Mrs. Almiron" I guess they are enjoying them as much as I do! Isn't it wonderful!
So, this week I made a freebie so everybody can try it. I really hope your class enjoys it! Please be aware that this is a LIMITED TIME FREEBIE, so don't wait too long to grab it!
This is a fun flip-book for the fall, and easy enough for students to work independently. It could be perfect for a fall center! I know that is how I plan to use it!

With this booklet students can practice number and color words, plus their cutting and gluing skills, and like I mentioned above, it's easy enough for students to work on their own.

While you are at my store, you might to check other flip-books I created:

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a marvelous weekend!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

September Was All About Apples!

Can't believe September is over! Looking back, I understand why the month just flew by! We were just having too much fun in Kindergarten!

Here is a little bit of the fun we had:

We read the story: "The Little Red House with no Doors and no Windows, with a Star Inside". This cute story is always a big hit in my classroom. Students just get into the story so easily, even the most antsy students!
If you never heard of it, this is the story of a little boy who as many other little boys, is bored of playing with his toys, so he asks his mom what can he do. His mother sends him in a quest: to find a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside. You can download this story and the puppet characters for FREE. Just click on the picture and head to my TpT store. When you read this story, just make sure that you have a real apple, ready to cut in half to show your students the star inside. No worries, the instructions are included in the file.

After reading this story and eating the apple, my students enjoyed retelling the story using the puppets. We did it a couple of times as everybody wanted to have a turn, of course!
By the end of this activity, they all knew the story so well! And the best part: the comments i received from some parents who enjoyed learning about the story through their children when they got home from school. I can assure you that every single one of my students have mastered the re-telling skill this month!

My class also enjoyed learning about Johnny Appleseed while working on our Johnny Appleseed Interactive Flipbook. Each page includes a fact about this famous American, John Chapman. The written fact is traceable with primary lines and there is also a space to glue the picture that goes along with each fact.

After finishing with the book, students pick a fact to write about for our Johnny Appleseed craft. we used another writing template though. We worked with the prompt: "My favorite fact about Johnny Appleseed". Craft and writing pages are included with the flipbook.

We also had bushels of fun painting these gorgeous apple trees using our thumbs.

 We used the edge of the hand to make the trunk of the tree:
Then we made thumb prints with green paint:

Students picked a color of apple they like (yellow, red, green or brown), and used the back of an unsharpened pencil to add the apples:

To finish it off, we wrote about our favorite apples using the writing prompt shown above. This beautiful project is also included with the Johnny Appleseed Flipbook.

But this is not all... I told you we were busy this month! Students also used their science skills to observe apples and complete our observation journal:

We completed one page each day, observing different things. Does an apple float or sink? How much does it weight? How many inches tall? What about around it? How many seeds does it have?
This was a really great opportunity to use those science tools and experience what a real life scientist does.

Lastly, this month several kindergarten families adopted our classroom through the Education Foundation! We are so tankful for these donations and truly blessed with such generosity and kindness. What better way to say thank you than making something from the heart?
  I printed the card and then I had students use their thumbs to print each apple. while the paint was still fresh I sprinkled a little of white glitter to make them shiny. Once it was dry, I used markers to draw the leaves and stems, and then made the eyes and smiles with fabric paint (you can also use a marker). Turned out cute, right?

If you would like this card, it's editable (just type the name of the family or person who adopted your class) and the best part, it's free!
Just click here:

A Bushel of Thanks

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Spotlight Saturday: Flipbooks, Flipbooks, and More Flipbooks!

 Welcome to another week of Spotlight Saturday, hosted by KINDERGARTEN DRAGONS! you can click on the link to learn more about it, but in nutshell it's just like a Show and Tell for teachers to share resources and ideas. You should try it, it's really fun!

Lately I've been making lots of flip-books and having so much fun with them! That's the reason I give them a spotlight today.  Not only they are adorable, but my students are enjoying working with them tremendously, so what else can I ask for?

We made one for United States Symbols:

We worked on  another one to review our numbers and counting skills:

We haven't started with the colors yet, but we will working on this next quarter since all these colors words are included in our sight words list:

Just this week we finished our Five Senses flip-book, and it was probably my favorite so far! We were doing a page a day, but my kids were so engaged on the making of this book, that they wanted to keep working on it even when it was almost time to go home!
Here are the snapshots:

Tip: Except for the sandpaper, we used adhesive tape to secure the items, because the glue didn't work so well.
These are all the flip-books I have so far, but I am currently working on one for Johnny Appleseed that I'm hoping to finish this week. Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Spotlight Saturday: Pennant Banner in 1, 2 3!

Yes! Saturday has arrived, which means it's time for....Spotlight Saturday, hosted by one of my favorite blogs: KINDERGARTEN DRAGONS. To learn more about this fabulous opportunity to show and tell about ideas, resources, etc. you find worth to share, clink on the link.

This week my post is all about do it yourself banners!

Pennant banners to me add another level of happiness to any room or celebration. It is amazing how by just adding a little touch like this, a room becomes so much cheerful and lively, don't you think?
However, if you need to buy them, it can get a little pricey. This year I really wanted  some for my classroom. But I did not buy them, I made them.
The good thing about making your own is not just the savings. To me the best part is the personal touch you can add. You can pick the color and patterns you like, the size of the pennants, and the length of the banner.

I made small ones and hanged them on bulletin boards:

I made bigger ones and hanged them on the windows:

 I even made some (flag style) for my word wall:

Although I wanted banners, I had spent so much already that I didn't want to completely  extinguish  my budget. Another issue was the colors and patterns. I found some pennant banners already made at the dollar store but the colors were not a good match for my classroom. And then it hit me! What about that gadget that I bought about six months ago in HSN??? I could use my own scrapbook paper with the colors and patterns I want!
This certainly became my new favorite gadget! When I bought it, they were offering 4 payments, so it was a really good deal. Here it is:

I really bought this set because of the punch board to make envelopes and bows which I had a chance to use at the end of the school year to make envelopes for my end of the year movie, but I forgot all about the banner punch board.
I pulled it out of the box, still in its bubble wrap, and I though it was going to take me a while to learn how to use it.
I was wrong! I took literally two minutes to become an expert! That's how easy it is!

You can also find it at Amazon :
It may seem a little too much, but it is totally worth its price!
I'm going to try my best to show how easy it is to use:

- Once you have your paper with the measurements you want, place it in the board. The top clear part opens up so you can place the paper, and then when you close it, its little magnets keep the paper from moving.

 - Then, you place the blade (it has a handle so you don cut yourself) on the guiding track and slide it to cut the paper.

Here is the paper already cut:

- To make the little holes, you need to place the pennant top corners on the top side of the board, and press down to punch the hole.

And that's it! You have your pennant!

Besides the pennant, you can also make flags (like the ones I cut for my letters for the word wall)  and crest shapes. Isn't this an awesome gadget?
I actually spent more time looking for the paper with the right colors and patterns, than what it took to make the banners! And I didn't even mention how much fun I had!

If you decide to buy this gadget and make some banners I would love to see them! So please don't forget to post pictures on Instagram and tag me. I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading! Until next time!