Monday, September 12, 2016

"Back in the Swing of Things" Blog Hop

How long have you been back in school? A week? A month? 

The first month of school is soooooo hard on us teachers (and our 

kiddos!). It's a month filled with routine and practice all of which

are critical for a successful year! I have teamed up with some

 amazing kindergarten teachers to help you get back in the "swing 

of things" and help make your back to school days easier!

How many times have you heard these words when your students

 are finished their work? And you find yourself scrambling for 

something for them to work on quietly. In the past I have given the

 "early finishers" activities to do while the other kids finish up their

 work . . . books, sketch pads, etc. A few years ago as I

 was organizing my work stations materials I realized I had a TON

 of games, activities and puzzles that I never used! I pulled them

 out and let the kids play with them when they were finished with

their work. They loved them! Over the years I have incorporated

the games and activities into part of my class routine. 

I call them BUSY BINS!

Here's how it works:

1. Have an area in your room where you can store baskets or bins.

2. Organize your games into skill categories: math, language arts, 

writing, reading, poetry, puzzle and fine motor.

3. Decide where you want your students to play the games. For

 example, my students play the games in quiet designated areas on

 the floor where they are not disturbing the kids at the tables.

4. Decide if your students will play the game/activity alone or with

 a partner. I vary this depending on the time of year.

5. Code your activities for quick and easy pick up.

6. Rotate the games and activities throughout the year as the

 children learn new skills.

7. Include games that reach all of your learners. (Some might be

 working on letter identification while others are spelling

sight words.)

8. Teach the games BEFORE putting them in the bins so you are

 not interrupted when you are helping the kids that are

 still working.

9. Stick to hands on activities that don't require pencil and paper.

Need some activities to get your BUSY BINS started?

My BEST SELLERS are on sale now:

Your next stop on the BLOG HOP is my friend Katie Byrd at Mrs. Byrd's Learning Tree.

To see all of the great TpT deals just type "#kinderfriends" into the search box on TpT!

Sunday, August 21, 2016



 TpT just announced a ONE DAY site wide sale on Monday, August 22nd! 

My TpT store will be 20% off PLUS you can save an additional 10% off by using the code ONEDAY at check out. 

The sale begins at midnight tonight EST! Visit my store now to begin filling your shopping cart! 

I am also giving away a $10 TpT gift card that you can use during the sale. Enter now because this giveaway ends tonight at 10:00 pm EST!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back to School with The Kissing Hand

It's time to head back to the classroom! The start of a new school year is always exciting! New crayons, new pencils, new books, and, of course, a new group of kiddos! I have teamed up with some wonderful teachers to make going back to school even more exciting! We have lots of freebies and prizes for you to win in the next few days! Make sure to grab my freebies on The Kissing Hand, sign up for our Raffle, and hop over to the other blogs at the end of this post! You don't want to miss out!

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is a classic First Day of School book for many Pre-K, Kindergarten and first Grade Classrooms.

I love reading this book on "Meet the Teacher Day". This day happens 2-3 days before school starts. The children come in to school to meet me, make some new friends, and to check out their new classroom and school. It's fun for them to find their cubbies, their seat at the table and see all of the fun and exciting things that Kindergarten will bring! After checking things out, I gather all of the kids at the carpet and read
The Kissing Hand to them. The parents really love listening to the story, as well. Most of them are just as nervous as the kids! I also pass around my "Chester" stuffed animal so they can all meet him and give him a hug. Together we choose a place for him to sit where he will wait for them on the first day of school! 

Our first day of school is all about Chester. The children are excited to see him waiting for them. Chester gets lots of love and hugs. Many children even show me their own kissing hands. We reread the story together. Next, the children make a “First Day of School” hand print.  Each hand print is made using large stamp pads or paint. I punch pink and red hearts out using a heart puncher. Each child picks out a heart to glue on their hand print. It is a great keepsake to take home for the first day of school!

I also make these little awards for the kids to color and take home on the first day. Just click on the picture to download it.


And just because they are all so SWEET I send them home with a kiss! These little goodie bags were made by placing a few Hershey kisses in a small jewelry bag. 

You can make some of your own by clicking on the picture below.

I hope you have a great first day that’s full of hugs and kisses!

Click the link below to isit my TpT Store for more activities with The Kissing Hand.


Look what you can win . . . 

Just fill in the rafflecopter below for a chance to win these great prizes!