Saturday, January 26, 2013

That's a WRAP!

Now that our school year is half way over, I wanted to take a minute to catch up on some things we have done. I have had a lot of things going on personally this year, so I've had to put blogging on the back burner.

I have been trying to take pictures throughout the year of some of the projects we have done.

In August, we did some really fun apple paintings. I wanted something that would match my room and something I could leave up all year.

I let the kids free-hand their apples. I mounted them on polka dot wrapping paper. I am not sure why I have never thought of mounting things on wrapping paper! It makes such a cute festive border!

One of my favorite things I have made this year is this organization system on my door.

I bought the cork squares from Walmart. I think they were around $6.00 for a set of 4. I painted them black and added vinyl letters and dots. I hot glued a magnetic clip on them. It has worked great! The lunch menu changes every month and I use the others so much! I always have things I need to take to the office. If they land on my work table first- they usually get misplaced!!!

My other favorite thing is my afterschool transportation frames.
We have a color coded bus system. I always cut out buses out of construction paper and they barely last the whole year! I thought this would be super cute and durable! I used Photoshop to create a photo file of a bus with a polka dot background. I printed them in 5x7 at Walmart. I bought the black frames at Dollar Tree. I wrote the kids' names on their correct color bus. Since the glass makes them dry erase, I can use them year after year!

I think my other favorite artwork was the gumballs we made for the letter G. I drew this gumball machine and copied it. The students used the paint dappers to make the gumballs. I just took them down at Christmas. They were so cute and colorful!!!
Around Thanksgiving, we made turkeys and were going to write what we were thankful for. As a class, we talked about different things they might want to write- family, friends, etc...

One of my students handed me this....
I thought it was TOO funny! He is part of a large family and they are all HUGE Alabama fans. I love Kindergarten minds! :) The last pieces of artwork I wanted to share are Christmas items. I needed something cute for the hallway and one of my students had on a monogrammed elf feet shirt. I decided that would be SUPER cute for our decor and I LOVED the way they turned out!!! We got so many compliments!!! I used Christmas wrapping paper for the frame on these as well.
I did these cute "pinterest inspired" thumbprint Christmas lights last year, but this year I bought Dollar Tree frames to put them in. They were so festive!
You know that polka dot wrapping paper I used for the apples? Well... I needed a winter door idea and I still had part of a roll left. I came up with this...
I guess I need to come up with more ways to use wrapping paper! It has definitely made my life easier this year! Well, I guess that "wraps" things up!!! Hopefully I will be back soon!!!!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Moooving Into Kindergarten

Moooo!!! Or should I say WHEEEEW!!!! We just finished our FIRST week of Kindergarten with our students. I think overall it was a WILD but good start to our school year. I say this every year- but God has GOT to give Kindergarten teachers a special brain that forgets the first week of school. No matter what I do or how many years I do it- I am NEVER EVER EVER mentally prepared for the first day of school. Is it just me???? I hope not!

Our school has 10 Kindergarten classes this year- the most we have ever had and we all have between 17 and 18 students. Our district has been WONDERFUL about capping our K classes at around 18. Ten classes may not seem like much to some of you- but our town probably only has a population of around 8 or 9,000. We are a small town, so 10 Kindergarten classes is A LOT for the size of our area. We are a city system and the county system has several rural schools- they all have above normal enrollment for Kindergarten as well. We traced it back and we THINK it was the year Hurricane Ivan came through and people had NOTHING else to do while their power was out. Ha!

We had a big award given to us by the USDA last year and we had to do a hall display. My wing did a farm type theme- so I decided to save the barn we put up and use it for our back to school theme. I have to admit- it was GREAT having half of the hallway decor ready before summer!!! I did a "Mooving Into Kindergarten" wall and the barn went back up between my room and my neighbor's room. Here is what it looked like:


I thought it turned out great! This week we did a cow glyph to hang beside the wall display. I have seen several cow glyph ideas. I combined some ideas together and added a couple of my own. When we do this kind of project the first week of school, I keep it simple and easy. I cut the spots, cow heads, legs, horns, mouths, and bells out and put them in baggies. The students glued the items together (one at a time) while we went through each piece of information. I thought they turned out really cute!

I love glyphs! The Thursday before we started school was our orientation for parents. I did a PowerPoint slide show this year and it turned out great!!! I used the apple tag like I did last year.

This is actually the picture from last year. My picture from this year didn't turn out as cute! These are on another post- but the teacher tags are FREE. You can download them by clicking here and going to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. They are blank- you can add your name and print! If you want a personalized set of tags, it is $2.00. Let me know if you do and I will be glad to add your name.

I also made my "Giving Tree". I just draw the tree on my board and tape Cricut cut apples. The apples have things like- printer cartridges, Mr. Clean Sponges, ITunes gift cards... I even put a classroom digital camera on there this year. I had someone take it too!!!! Woo hoo!!! Parents can take an apple if they wish. Normally, the tree is almost empty after orientation.

I did these again this year too:

I had several questions about them last year. These are magnets. I designed them and had them printed (business card size) on magnets. Somewhere like has this type of product available. I will design some custom ones for you and have them printed. Prices vary by size and number- if you are interested- email me at

I'm sure you've noticed throughout my posts that I have polka dots on almost everything. I think that is my trademark. I LOVE polka dots. I even got teased a little at orientation last week. I made these festive tags for my red baskets...
Everyone thinks I'm a little OCD about things like that anyway. I showed up in polka dots at orientation. This is the picture of me my assistant principal insisted on taking...

I guess now you see what the teasing was about. My room is full of polka dots. I was wearing polka dots. My slide show was even polka dot themed. Ha!

This is a good time to mention the new product I am uploading to my TPT store- because it polka dot themed. We started Math In Focus last week. It's our new program to align with Common Core. We have always done Saxon and I am pretty pumped about doing something new!!! I made red/white and black/white polka dot vocabulary words to go on a math word wall. These words align with the lessons of Math in Focus- Book A. Book B isn't ready yet, but will be soon! There are 71 words in all. They are in order. My TPT store was being REALLY slow uploading it. If you need them before I get them posted, let me know and I will do it through Paypal and Email. It's $4.00 for the set.

I am going to take some pictures this week of some new things I am doing in the classroom this year. I love seeing what everyone else does in their Kindergarten classes!!!

I did get my Peace, Love, and Kindergarten up on my classroom wall...
It has been SOOOO busy at home as well as school because my little girl started 3-year-old preschool. She goes 3 days a week this year, so it has been hectic having clothes ready, backpack and snack packed, and getting out the door on time. Dance clothes have to be packed on dance days. I feel like a REAL mom! Ha! She LOVES school! Here she is on her first day...

It wouldn't be fair not to mention my other "helper". I can always rely on Finley to help with whatever project I spread out on the living room floor. He adds his TLC- doggie slobber and paw prints- to everything I do. :)

The last thing and I promise this really long post with be over: I started a Facebook store about a week ago. It is called Polka Dot Pages and I am selling a lot of really cute personalized items, like Ipad Covers, cartags, towels, notepads cutting boards- you name it!!! Everything is 100% custom designed for you and personalized. Here are some examples of my items, including the Ipad cover for my school Ipad...

Click here to go directly to my Facebook site, or search for "Polka Dot Pages" on Facebook.

Well- I need to finish typing some pacing guides for next week. I will be back with some more classroom pictures next week! Hopefully it will be a smoother week and I am SOOOO excited about football season starting next weekend! Can't wait to yell ROOOOLLL TIDE! :)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Foot Long Receipt

You know it is that time of year again when you spend $71.82 in the Dollar Tree.
Yep, you are looking at a foot long receipt. Actually, it's 14 inches long- a little over a foot! Crazy!!! I found some really great deals and couldn't pass them by. I am constantly buying random things because I think I might need it one day. Some of this stuff I don't have an immediate use for- but I am sure that when I need it- I'll be glad I bought it. Here are some of the things I bought...
I am thinking about using some of them literacy centers, etc..
Tangram workmats... maybe for math centers.
You can always use letter tiles!
These were sorters. The front has a shape and a number. As you can see, they are also different colors. I was thinking of using them for grouping students. I also bought three of these magnetic containers.
I am going to add polka dots or something festive to dress them up. Don't worry! I'll show you when I am done.

I have been busy trying to get things ready in my classroom since they have finished cleaning the carpet and have put my tables and things back where they belong. We (teachers) begin inservice on August 13th and the students return on August 20th. Sometimes we have work days during inservice. HOPEFULLY we will this year since we have FIVE inservice days before school begins. I can't handle FIVE days of "informative and beneficial" meetings. Our Kindergarten orientation is the 16th, so I will need everything ready by then for sure. Our school district always waits until about 5 days (or even less) before the first day of school to give us our class lists. As you can imagine, it is WONDERFUL to get your class list and have to label everything in a couple of days. So... another reason why I need everything else ready early. Ideally, I will finish everything by the end of next week. I have a MUCH needed beach trip planned the week before inservice.

I have been in 3 different rooms at my school. I started Year 1 in TABS (In-school suspension), moved to Kindergarten 6 weeks into the year when the enrollment kept increasing and we added a class (Trust me, that is DEFINITELY another story for another day), and after Year 3, a Kindergarten room opened up in the Kindergarten section (I was in the first grade part) so I moved to my current room. I plan to be in Room 101 forever. I HATE changing rooms. Anyway, I've worked a little each year to get it decorated like I really want to be. I'm adding some new things this year and trying to really adhere to my color theme- mostly red, black, and white. I use a ton of polka dots too! I have other primary colors throughout the room- but I'm adding more black/white/red this year.

I came across chipboard letters at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents each. I bought the letters to spell "Kindergarten", a peace symbol, and a felt heart since I couldn't find a chipboard one. I picked out some coordinating scrapbook papers and came up with this...
Close up of the peace symbol and heart:
I can't wait to hang them on the wall!!!

When I went crazy in Dollar Tree, I bought a class set of binders to use for calendar notebooks. I decided to go ahead and number them with vinyl numbers. I wanted to add dots, but I decided not to. I thought the end result was neat and clean, so I left it that way...
The last project that I want to share is my table caddies. I bought these black ones at Walmart the other night for 99 cents each. I use these for pencils, scissors, and glue. Usually students keep crayons in separate containers. I used my cricut to cut some cute number tags. I added a festive bow and attached them with book rings. I LOVE them and cannot wait to put them on my tables!!!
I have several other things that are in the works, but I don't want to share just yet!

Just so you know- I'm not the only one at my house ready for school. This is what I found in my kitchen the other morning...
Isn't she the cutest 3-year-old teacher ever? Even if she has bed hair and is wearing something from the dress-up chest? :)

She even managed to get our poor doggie to come to school...
Doesn't he look thrilled to be there???

Thanks for all the kind thoughts on my new TPT page! I have some new stuff for it, but haven't had time to sit down and add it all. I am headed to bed tonight. I am throwing a baby shower on Saturday and a lingerie shower next Friday. In addition to school stuff, I also made a diaper cake and party banner today. I'm going to call it a night!