Friday, July 31, 2015

Five for Friday - Back from Tampa

Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching for another week hosting this weekly linky! It is always so much fun to share the five randoms of our week! If you would like to participate, click on the image below and it will take you to the link where you can learn more about it.

I am so glad to be back home from Tampa. Like Dorothy said so accurately: "There is no place like home".
Here we go:
Thank God everything went well with my husband's back surgery. Fortunately, because it was laser surgery, we were able to leave the next day. With this type of surgery you can walk out of the recovery room, nothing like the traditional kind in which you would have to stay in the hospital for several days. Like I said everything went well, however, he is in a lot of pain, which was expected. He has to take it easy for the next few days, and soon he will start to feel better. Just being back home it's a relief. Thank you all for your prayers!

One thing about this trip, it was raining constantly, plus this part of Tampa doesn't offer much to do, but at least I got to finish my Camouflaged Letters and Numbers. I had so much fun making these, and color these samples was such a stress reliever! Click on each image to download a free sample. If you want the whole packages, they are on sale for $1 TODAY ONLY! After today they will go to their regular price.

 I found these magnifying glasses at Michaels, in their dollar bins. I feel like I hit the jackpot! I bought four sets, although each set comes with two.

These are perfect for my "I Spy" activities. Students use a magnifying glass to look for the hidden sight words, letters, or CVC words. As they find each letter, or word, they write down on their recording sheet. This type of activities are always a hit in my classroom, and I made lots of different sets. These below are just a few, but if you go to my store, look under my categories for "I SPY Activities", or you can just click on the picture below. You will find some for free as well.

I am so excited to find Susan Barton, a wonderful advocate for Dyslexia in Pinterest. This disability has been always important to me because my son and husband are both dyslexics. I couldn't describe even if I try the frustrations I have both experienced  and witnessed.
Since my son started school, I've always been on the search for resources, tips, ideas, information, or anything I could find about it. One of the best resources I found was Bright Solutions for Dyslexia. (you can sign up for free newsletters). Now, I have also found her on Pinterest, and I was amazed at all the information you can find there.
This letter below was included in a newsletter she sent a long while ago, but I have saved in my computer, and every time I read it it makes me cry as I think of my son and wonder if his new teachers will consider things like these:

I recommend you to follow her Pinterest, you will find so many helpful tips, and relevant information. Here it's, one more for you:

For number five, you probably already know, but just in case you didn't hear about it, TpT is having a "love back to School" sale:
See you there!

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

All About This Kinder Teacher (almost all!)

Thanks to my friend Erin from Kindergarten Dragons, I found out about this linky going on, and I just couldn't wait to participate. Thank you Erin! And of course, thank you Kinder Tribe for coming up with this idea and organizing it!

So this is all-ish about me:

I'm so excited to start my 6th year as a teacher! I never thought I would be teaching when I first came from Argentina about 16 years ago! I couldn't even speak English...let alone teaching...but somehow I made it! I was very lucky to find a great school with a remarkable principal who was able to see beyond my accent and who gave me the opportunity of a lifetime! Since then I couldn't be happier doing any other job!

I think one of the things I couldn't do with out is probably my computer (an Blue Moon LOL), it's a bit scary how much I depend on it (the computer! not the Blue Moon!)

Patterned Card stock (and scrapbook paper) brought so many possibilities, for decorations, but specially for the crafts we make in the classroom. We use it all the time!

Probably because I love birds, or because my brother in Argentina breeds fancy pigeons from all over the world, but the Pigeon books by Mo Willems are my favorites! These books are always a hit in my class! These are the books that my students want to hear gain and again!

There are so many great blogs out there that it's hard to pick just one. However, my go to blog is Kindergarten Dragons. Erin's posts are always packed with lots of good tips, and hello: this is how I learned about this linky!

The last but certainly not least, why I love to teach Kindergarten. There are so many reasons, such as the grow you see at this level is amazing. Witnessing how these little kids who come to you in many cases without even knowing how to hold a pencil, or write their names, or even recognize basic colors, just to see them months later writing sentences and reading little books, it's just so incredible and rewarding at the same time.
However, I think that the best thing about working in Kindergarten is just that it's so much fun! Being able to be silly and playful every day is priceless. I don't know of any other another job out there where you get to go to work on your pajamas, go out on a chase for the gingerbread man or the leprechaun, or leave cookies out for the classroom elf, just to come back in the morning and find out what mess he left behind. I honestly believe I have the best job I could ask for!
Well I hope know you know me just a bit better. Thank you so much for reading!

Easy Brochure for Back to School!

Happy Saturday everybody! I'm so happy to participate in the Spotlight Saturday! Thank you Erin at Kindergarten Dragons for hosting it!
If you are new to this linky, I hope you can join us. It's so much fun! Just "show and tell" us all about your pick of the week. It can be a product of your own, or from somebody else. You can learn more by clicking on the picture above.

Let's start...this is my spotlight today:

As we are approaching the Big Day, the day we go back to school, I am starting to get my welcome letters ready, and all the fun stuff for Open House Night. This year however, I decided I didn't want a looong welcome letter. Main reason: for a while now I've been noticing that not a lot of people read your long letters, but they rather scan through it for bits and pieces of information. So maybe this is the time to change the approach.
How about providing the information in bits and pieces! That is how my Easy Brochure (like my husband calls it) was born. I think one of its main benefits is that you can easily spot the information you are looking for without having to read the whole thing.
Another reason to make a brochure: it is a fun way to present the information you need to.

What information should go in there? In my case, I considered what are the things I get questions about more often. For instance, resources teachers names (music, art, P. E., etc.) and their contact info, the resources schedule, lunch time, dismissal procedures, how to access student's grades, classroom rules and expectations, and of course my email address.
So I decided to include this brochure in my Back to School packet. If you have bought this product in the past, all you have to do is update the file from your purchases section at TpT. It is editable, so can enter your own information, of course. Customized for Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grades.

Right below you can see what else is inside this editable product:

Here is a picture of the survival kits, just finished them recently. One more thing to cross out of my list!
Inside the bag you need to include the following items: tissue, band-aid, eraser, Life Saver, Hersey Hug, sticker, and a penny. I place these in each student's mail box, so they can find them when the do the Scavenger Hunt during "Meet your Teacher" night. However, you can also give this to them on their first day of school.

Thank you for reading, and hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five for Friday on my Birthday!

Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching for another week hosting this weekly linky!
 For my first random I have one announcement: It's my birthday! Among other things going on, I was hoping to get around to go to the beach today. It's truly shameful that living only 20 minutes from the Atlantic coast, I haven't been able to stop by, no even for a quick swim. However, no such luck. It started to rain early in the afternoon, and that was that!
For the good news though, every year I try to post something free on my special day, so head to my store to get this fun Freebie!:

Basically, students look carefully trying to spot (an color) all the hidden sight words. Also a fun way to learn the concept of camouflaging! This is a free sample, but if you are interested on the full packages, there are 4 of them, each addressing about 21 to 27 sight words, and the best part: they are a buck each only for today!

 Just on time for my birthday, I received an email saying that I got a book donation, in BookMentors! I can't believe it how fast it was since I requested it only a few days ago. This is a great website, if you haven't tried, it's absolutely free.

Another fantastic news is that my husband who has a back injury and is partially disabled, got approved for his second surgery.
He had this first surgery back on October, and although he is doing significantly much better, he still has some pain. Because this was a work related accident, he had to be approved by Workman's Compensation, and boy! they took their sweet time. His lawyers have been fighting in court since 2007. But he got approved, and he is having his second and hopefully final surgery next Tuesday, so we are very excited making all the arrangements! I am so glad he will be able to have it done before school starts!

I have been so busy getting everything ready for school, but I am happy to report that I was able to cross two things off my list!
1) My Jitter Glitter is all done! You can download it for free, just click on the picture:

2) My Kindergarten Survival Kits are ready! (Also available for First and Second Grades).

I got this little cutie for my birthday! It's a mini-speaker but pretty powerful! I wanted one to take to school with me, and this one is small and light. It's only about 2" x 2" x 2". I like the fact that is rechargeable, no worries about replacing batteries!
That will be all for today! Thank you for reading, and have a marvelous weekend!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Spotlight Saturday: Easy to Make Kool-Aid Play-Dough

Happy Saturday everyone! Time to have some fun, and hopefully share something you can use in your classroom. If this is your fist time here, this is an amazing weekly Link up hosted by Erin at Kindergarten DRAGONS. I encourage you to participate; it is a great way to share resources and ideas that you think are worth to know about. To visit Kindergarten Dragons an participate just click on the image below and it will take you to her blog.

This week I found a terrific idea for making Kool-Aid Play-Dough. So I want to give the spotlight to Abigail from Kindergarten Chaos who developed this "kool" recipe.
What I like so much about it is that it doesn't involve using cream of tartar like some other recipes you might find out there. I think this is a much faster and simpler way to make it. It's also supposed to smell delicious!

She has several different types, cotton candy playdough, cinnamon sparkle, frozen inspired, and more. So hard to pick one! They all look fantastic! She just gives a parent or volunteer a baggy with all the dry ingredients and instructions so they can make it for her classroom...genius!

I use play-doh a lot during the first weeks of school. Young children (and some not so young) just love to get their hands on it, and while they play, I have the chance to assess them. Kindergarten Chaos did a marvelous job at putting together lots of fun activities with play-dough that provide hands-on opportunities to practice many skills aligned with Common Core.

These are just a few examples:
Click on the image and it will direct you to her blog where you'll find the instructions to make it and  many ideas to use the play-dough in the classroom.

Well, I hope this is something you can use in your classroom, or if not, maybe you know somebody who might be able to use it. Personally, on my next trip to the supermarket, I'm going to get some Kool-Aid and I'm going to give it a try. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Thank you for reading, and until the next Spotlight!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Five for Friday

Welcome one more time to this wonderful weekly linky hosted by Doodle Bugs Teaching. Here are my five randoms for the week:

For a while now I've noticed that my nails started to peel. I had never had that problem before, so this week I started taking this pills, hoping to get stronger nails and better hair. According to some customers reviews Biotin really works, so I'll give it a month. We'll see if it works as they say.

I finally started to get my things ready for school, we are getting closer and so fast. So, I decided to stop procrastinating and went to my car and got my classroom's stuffed animals. They have been in my trunk since school finished! I gave them all a wash and now they smell so nice! 
Students love to read to a stuffed animal! I'm sure they will love it even more if the animals smell nice and clean! I know I would!

 In the back of my truck, I also found my apron! I love this thing! It has about 5 pockets (one has a zipper). I use it every day to hold just about anything! (dry-erase markers, PBIS money, clinic passes, pens, etc.) But, it also needed a good wash.
Here it is nice and clean! I got this one from the Apron Addict at Etsy. This one has birds, but she makes them with everything you can think of.

 I almost had a heart attack when I saw my electric bill! From $136 we went to $178!!! I know in the summer it goes up because of the A/C (we live in Florida), but since we got the new A/C unit which is more efficient and energy saving, I never had a bill this high! So what happened here?
I think it was the old drier that kept shutting off every 2 minutes, and every time we turned it back on, I knew it was sucking that electricity because the lights would dim a little for a second or two. Since we bought the new drier, I haven't noticed the lights doing that. This drier is supposed to save energy, so in the next bill I should see a considerable decrease...I hope!

Yesterday I finished my Pete the Cat unit with this craft, hopping I can make this with my new students during the first days of school. Last year I made a mouse, for If You Take A Mouse to School unit, but I was trying to do something new. I like how the shoes turned out, I think I will use patterned paper, just like the model.
Anyway, if you are interested, this unit is for $1 just for a few more hours, then it will go to regular price. Perfect timing since TpT removed the $3 dollar minimum purchase, so now you can spend as little as a dollar, and you purchase will go through.

As always, thank you for reading, and have a marvelous weekend.