Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cactus & Kindness

Over the past 14 years, I've only had two different themes for my classroom: jungle animals, and turtles.  I thought for my 15th year, it was time for a change!  This year I'm going with Cactus and Kindness.  Here are a few decorations around my classroom.

This year I really want to work on our classroom community, so Kindness is a natural choice!
(These letters and paper fans are strategically placed to cover up large holes left in the wall when the wall mounted tv was removed a few years ago!)
I thought this would be a good reminder for everyone who enters our room!

I can't get enough of all the adorable cacti things!
Marker board from Target Dollar Spot

"Stick With Kindness"
My newest favorite shirt!
New labels for our headphone and journal baskets
Student Work Display 
Each student will have their own cactus with their name written on it.
(There's a clothespin behind each cactus to hold a paper)

Random watercolor cacti all over the room!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Where Did Summer Go?

Well, I took a much longer break this summer than I intended.  I really wanted to work on adding on to some of my existing  products in my TPT store, and creating new ones too.  But then summer just seemed to start going by way too fast and I was having way too much fun hanging out with my kids!  
I hope enjoyed your summer too!

I was able to get these two products into my Teachers Pay Teachers store that are perfect for Back to School.

First up is this Write Around the Room activity with Color Words.  All you have to do is hang the color words around the room, and hand the students a clipboard and recording sheet.  They walk around the room looking for the color words and then record them in the correct place on their paper.

Color Words Write Around the Room,

I also added this adorable cactus color memory game.
Cactus Memory Game,

Happy "Back to School", and I hope you all have an amazing year!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


It's hard to believe that this school year is just about over!  But that just means we have to cram as much fun as possible into this little bit of time.  
Bring on the Happy Campers!

This tent set-up has been an exciting addition to the room.  I have been choosing two kids at a time to get to use our campsite.  They can choose to sit in the chairs, or sit inside the tent while they do their work.  

 I hung this display in the hall, but it would also make a cute bulletin board display.  I took a picture of each student looking "excited".  The kids got to color their camper any way they wanted, then we glued their pictures in the window of their campers.

We made a class graph about whether they would want to camp in a tent or a camper.

 Next to our tent, I have a fishing station set up.  The fishing poles are just dowel rods cut to size with twine tied onto one end, and a magnet tied to the end of the twine.  The paper fish each have a paper clip attached to their mouths so they can be "caught"!

The kids can sort the fish by size of color.

Thanks to Lucky Little Learners for these awesome QR codes for some camping read alouds!

For a little crafting time, we made handprint campfires.

Then of course, who doesn't need a new bookmark?!

And then there's my new favorite Happy Camper shirt!  This shirt is so comfy and soft, and it really ties the theme together, don't you think!?

If you liked these ideas, you can grab my Happy Campers unit on Teachers Pay Teachers!  
(I have more ideas for this unit in the works.  If you purchase now, before the price increases, you'll be able to get the updates for free!)

Happy Camping!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Our Classroom's a Zoo!

We have had so much fun the past two weeks studying about animals.  We worked on sorting animals by their physical characteristics. (color, size, body covering, limbs, and how they move)
Earlier this year, I came across this awesome blog post and I just couldn't wait until we could do this project in our classroom.  Thank you to Kindergarten Kindergarten for the amazing lesson ideas! 

We started our project by looking at animals and sorting picture cards by the animals' physical characteristics.  Each day, the kids worked in groups to sort the picture cards any way they decided.  Then I had them sort the animals by one of the specific characteristics I wanted us to cover.  

Next we made an anchor chart for the characteristic we covered that day.  

The students then chose an animal to put in their Science Journals and used the anchor charts to write a sentence or two about the animal. 

After practicing sorting the animals by the five different characteristics, it was time to start working on our zoo!  
The kids brought in stuffed or plastic animals from home, and then our next step was to create the signs for our animals.  Using our anchor charts, we wrote one sentence about each characteristic for our animals.  (ex. A sheep is white.  A sheep has four legs.  A sheep can walk. etc.)
They also had plenty of time to look through nonfiction animal books to discover even more about their animals.

After the signs were completed, it was time for the really fun part.  Decorating the zoo!  I let the kids take full control of this part.  They basically told me which color of paper they needed and then got to work.  I was so impressed with their writing and decorating skills!
On Friday, we invited the parents and other teachers and staff on campus to come visit our zoo and see what we had been learning.

Ms. Hunter's class held their zoo on the same day as ours, so we set up an admissions table in the hall.  We let the students take turns greeting guests and passing out animal crackers

 This was such a fun project for the kids and myself!  The best part was watching the kids work together to create the zoo, and hearing their conversations as they made decisions.  

Thanks again Kindergarten Kindergarten for the awesome idea!
(The animal picture cards, along with Animal Colors and Animal Body Covering Powerpoints all came from

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Planting Seeds and Reading Fairy Tales

Time to get a little dirty while learning about how plants grow!

After reading books about parts of plants and how plants grow, we of course had to plant our own seeds to witness this first hand.

First we added soil to our cups...

...then the kiddos planted two lima beans, two pinto beans, and some grass seeds in a clear plastic Solo cup. (I like to consolidate!)

The clear cups allow the kids to see the roots as the plants grow! (Which they think is really cool!)

We also watched this awesome video on YouTube to see how the lima beans would grow.

Since we were also learning about Fairy Tales, we read Jack and the Beanstalk and added the castle in the clouds to our plants.

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I just had to add a huge beanstalk to the corner of our classroom!

Here's our anchor chart we made for our study of Fairy Tales.