Monday, April 18, 2016

The Very Hungry Caterpillar {Part 3}

I am so enjoying my time teaching The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I had to share this freebie!

I originally saw the inspiration picture on Pinterest, but it just linked to the picture and not the source. Then, the lovely people at Libraryland gave a tutorial, but still no template. Alas, I found that primary teachers needed a template for this hat, and what better way to get it in their hands than as a freebie!

I just cut extra long red construction paper in thirds, and stapled two thirds together to create the base of this headband. You may want to use red sentence strips if you can find them! (and if you can, send that link my way! I'd love to purchase them!)

Now, besides the awesome freebie, I have to brag about my kiddos for a moment. We were super excited to come back from the weekend to discover that our caterpillars have grown big and fat just like the very hungry caterpillar! Take a look below! (Squeamish stomachs, beware!)


However, as you know, most children LOVE this kind of growth and my class was no different.
Check out their awesome Week 2 Observations! What great preschool scientists!

Now, for tomorrow's work: teaching them that it is not a web, but the exoskeleton shedding! Awesome science!

If you want to try out these observation sheets with your kiddos, buy them here with The Very Hungry Caterpillar No Prep Pack!

Keep your head in the clouds!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bugging Out!

We're continuing to get BUGGY in preschool this week! My students absolutely LOVED this idea! Inspired by The Measured Mom, I created Bugging Out! I have been looking for more fun ways to up the opportunity to identify teen numbers, but still create an activity that my morning, younger students could access. Differentiating with the multiple number cubes was the way to go!

I just printed, laminated, cut, and taped. Super easy AND durable for little hands!

You can get your copy of the entire activity (jar sheets, bugs, and number cubes!) here!

Keep your head in the clouds!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Very Hungry Caterpillar {Part Two}

The more I work with this bundle, the more excited I get. I plan on introducing Eric Carle's classic story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar beginning next week. However, my actual caterpillars came in TODAY! I cannot wait to see the look on my students faces when they realize there are REAL, LIVE insects right in our room!

You can download the bundle here!

One of my favorite parts of this bundle is the Life Cycles of a Butterfly Flip Chart. Check it out below!

I printed the flip chart piece on Green to make it more festive. Check out more pics below to see if this looks like a project you might be interested in using in your classroom. I'm excited for my kiddos to get their hands on this project. It combines coloring, cutting, folding, gluing, sequencing, and science topics! Phew! I love when I can combine so much learning in one simple {no prep} activity! Score!

Check out my TPT store to download your flip chart here!

Keep your head in the clouds!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Very Excited Teacher!

I was going to wait until I put this into action in my classroom next week, but I just can't wait!

So, for those of you that have been following my Bug and Insect Unit, here is the mecca of Bugs and Insects: The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Here's a preview of The Very Many Activities that are included:

You can download it here!

PLUS! For the next 4 days only, it's ON SALE for 20% off!! Get on this!

I will post the unit in action in my classroom as it progresses over the month of April. I'm really pumped for my Caterpillars to arrive!

Enjoy friends! And remember,

Keep your head in the clouds!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Seconds Into Second Grade

My most popular item on Teachers Pay Teachers, is hands down, First Days in First Grade. It was such a blast to create as I got ready for my grade switch to First Grade. With my experience in Second Grade and love for creating new products, I have another product that will be great for the first day or first week of school in second grade. Say hello to Seconds into Second Grade!

Seconds into Second Grade has everything you need to have a fun first week of school while also getting some quick baseline assessments done. Above you see the numbers and letters sheets. These allow a quick assessment of number skills and vowel sounds. It includes long and short vowel sounds.

There are fun activities too, such as Second Guessing! Students estimate how long it will take to do something and then time each other how long it actually takes them to do it. It gets kids up and moving and they just LOVE guessing and trying to beat their estimation.

The bundle also has a self portrait, story board, and summer writing prompt. But don't take my word for it- check it out here!

Keep your head in the clouds!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bugging Out Over the Alphabet!

How is it Friday of Spring Break already? The bad news? Only two more days of break. The good news? End of Spring Break means the homestretch of the school year!

It has been quite the adventure switching districts, positions, and roles this year! Holy smokes! It has been quite a learning year, but I'm so grateful to feel a new wind after my break. Fingers crossed this wind carries me to June!

In the meantime, let's get BUGGY!

To continue with my Insect Theme when I return, I decided to make Buggy Letters. Buggy letters allows kids to identify uppercase letters, and is differentiated to allow students to match uppercase to lowercase letters as well.

Check out pictures below and head over to my TPT store if you want to snag it up yourself!

Check back soon! I am in the process of creating my Very Hungry Caterpillar expansion pack and will soon be combining all of my insect work into an Insect Bundle. It's a great week to be following me! Tell your friends about it! :)

Keep your head in the clouds!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spooky, Sneaky, SPIDERS!

There's one insect that gives me the "creepy crawlies," but kids seem to LOVE:


Though I get the heebie jeebies over them, spiders are such a fun topic to bring into the classroom. Kids seem to love it! They tend to have a decent amount of background knowledge on them, and since there always tend to be spiders in everyone's backyards, basements, classrooms (!) children love to spill their knowledge they just learned once they see one!

Here are some of my favorite spider activities in the classroom.

Fly Swat!

I made these cards with flies on them. On the back I had the letter F (to make an association with /f/ and Fly). Some of the flies had spiders on the back of them. Students took turns swatting the flies with a fly swatter and flipping them over. If they got an F, they kept it. If they got a spider, the spider caught their fly on their web and they lost a turn. The student with the most flies at the end, won! Such a fun, hands on learning experience for the kiddos!

You could definitely do this with sight words, numbers, uppercase/lowercase match. Comment below if you'd like me to make some with those options. I always love creating resources.

Parachute Webs!

Continuing with the word FLY, we practiced identifying the letters F and L. I made F and L spiders with magnets on the back. We put them under the parachute and took turns crawling under to pick a spider. Then, I projected F and L webs on our board, and students had to stick their spider on the proper web. This would be a great activity to do if you had a web for each uppercase letter and had a spider with each lowercase letter to match. Hmmm... I should get to creating that! :)

Spell with Spiders!

At Halloween time, the dollar store or party stores seem to always sell bags of spiders in bulk. I used them for my kiddos who were still working on Name Recognition. You could also use these to spell out spelling words, sight words, or letters and numbers. KIDS LOVE THEM!

Spider Hats!

My inspiration for the hats came from Fantastic Fun and Learning. I loved it because it involved one-to-one correspondence (counting out 8 eyes and 8 legs), fine motor practice (folding out those legs!), and Science spider knowledge (did YOU know they had 8 eyes?!). It didn't hurt that they were TOO cute!

Spider Count Playdough Mats!

You can download them here.

I love these play dough mats! The visual spiders on the bottom help create independence for the kiddos. They're able to count the spiders if they cannot yet identify the numeral on their own yet. Plus, the hand strength for rolling balls of play dough is an added bonus. You could even make it a one-to-one correspondence center by counting the mini spiders used for spelling in the earlier photos. I love being able to use a center in different ways. It's an awesome way to see if students can generalize their skills across manipulatives.

Next year, I hope to incorporate Little Miss Muffet and do a cooking activity making "curds and whey." What are your favorite spider activities in the classroom?

Keep your head in the clouds!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

An A-Bee Pattern!

These few days off have been so refreshing for me! I think simply clocking a full 7-8 hours of sleep each night has been enough to rejuvenate me. That needs to be a new goal for myself going into the last few months of school.

Keeping with my Bug and Insect theme I plan to start when I return, I have another unit I'm eager to get going on- it's quite.. buzzworthy! ;)

It's An A-Bee Pattern!

I really strived to make it kid-friendly and hands on driven.

I plan to start my unit on patterns by introducing bees. It's an ideal segway from our overarching insect theme to an intro to patterns. Talk about a perfect real world example of learning in the classroom.

I always make sure to have my students color the key. This helps create more independence as they continue with their coloring. I also chose Color by Letters to create exposure to letter-sound recognition and phonemic awareness.

My older kiddos would be able to cut and paste in addition to creating patterns so this was made in particular with them in mind.

I can't wait to encourage my higher thinkers to color in a pattern as well when they finish.

I always try to include hands on, center activities in addition to a worksheet. You can only do a worksheet once, but hands on activities can be thrown into rotations, centers, and work groups throughout an entire unit!

I've created books your kiddos can use to help get started with working on patterns!

Just Laminate, connect books with a brass fastener, and throw in a center! Pattern starters help the kiddos who are still catching the hang of it, while blank sheets allow students to expand their knowledge and carry their patterns differently than just an AB, ABC pattern.

As their practice improves, allow them the chance to record their pattern!

Voila! Differentiated instruction, tactile learning, and special ed friendly!

Purchase the entire A-Bee Pattern Unit here!

What are some of your favorite ways to teach and practice patterns in your classroom?

Keep your head in the clouds!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Start of Spring Break + {freebie!}

Do you ever feel like the weeks leading up to a school break all you can think about are your days off? Then, once the break comes around, I find that all I can think about is school! It's funny how that works. Sometimes I think taking time to get some rest, relaxation, and a breath of fresh air can help the brain focus on tackling what used to seem like work-related stress.

In an effort to keep that breath of fresh air continuing back into the classroom next week, I decided to find ways to get my students outside next week. I'm hoping to embrace Spring (and hoping that in doing so, the Spring weather will come here to stay!) by kicking off the home stretch of the school year with a Bug and Insect Unit.

While the unit as a whole is still in the works, I decided to give you all a sneak peek with this Bug Hunt freebie! Take a look!

You can download it here!

Check back later this week for more pieces of my Insect Unit.
It will all be up on my TPT store soon!

Keep your head in the clouds! xo