Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I am soooooo proud of myself today!  How many of us have made something from Pinterest and have it actually turn out like how it says it should?  Anyone?  Not me, that's for sure!  That's why I was so shocked when my bulletin board, the idea coming from Pinterest, came out AMAZING! Throughout all my back to school meetings and planning, I kept going back to my board and smiling.  I hope my kiddos feel the same when then see it next week.  

Isn't it cute?!!  So. Happy.

I wanted to make this fun and I've always felt restricted with the die cuts we have at school (not very fun...).  I don't own a cricket or other fancy cutting machines.  What to do, what to do....

After much thought, here's how I made the letters.  I downloaded MTF Jumping Jack font (because it's fun and quirky), which you can find HERE.  It's free to download as long as it's for personal use. Now here's the trick that I just learned.  It may blow your mind... ready?

Using PowerPoint on a Mac:

~ After you type your text go under Format and select Font.
~ On the left you will see Text Fill -- the color will be black, click on the bar and select No Fill.  
~ Your text will seem like it has hasn't.  Go to Text Line.  It will say No Line. Click the color you want (I chose black). Ta da!! You can also go under Weight and Arrows and make the line thicker if you want.

You could fill with any color you want, but if you're school is like mine, we have to conserve colored ink -- really conserve.  I chose to not fill my font and then I printed onto colored construction paper. This is the first time I've done this, but what a world of difference!! 

Mind blown, right?!! Thought so...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I feel like I need to clear my throat to begin this blog post since it's my very first one! So...*ahem* I go...

I started this blog a year ago thinking that it would be an awesome way for me to talk about what's going on in my classroom as well as share some of what I have created for the kids.  I still think it's an awesome idea and I'm finally getting started.  Forgive me if it takes me awhile to get to the point, I often do that while friends are used to it! Ha!

So,  the reason I'm writing this post.  I'm teaching summer school for our incoming kinders this year.  It's called Early Kindergarten Transition, I call it Kindergarten Bootcamp.  It's a fun way for students to get to know the school and kind of get an idea of what to expect.  We work on letter names/sounds, number recognition/cardinality, but we also do book studies to practice sequencing and retell.  The book we did last week was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, a classic right?!  The kids absolutely LOVE that book.  

We began the week by reading the book over...and over again.  They seriously never get tired of it!  It gets to the point where I just turn the pages and they read it on their own as a class.  It's really quite cute actually.  

In any case, I thought it would be fun to have them put themselves in order, so I made these sequencing cards.

It was really interesting to watch as they did this activity.  I gave each student a card, although some kids had to wait a turn to hold a card because I didn't have enough.  The students who had to wait, actively participated by telling the students with the cards where to go. At first they really needed a lot of teacher direction, but by the third time they were bossing each other around and telling each other where to stand.  (I wish I had gotten a picture of it...)  You can get these cards for free in my store here

After we practiced putting the animals in order we were ready to make our sequencing hats!  I left the cards on the board so that they had a reference if they needed it.  

The biggest hint I have is to have the students color in the animals first.  It saves a lot of time later...

And then we made our bear heads (This was very much teacher directed!)  They turned out really cute and once again I didn't get any pictures.  I will have to remember that bloggers take lots of pictures.  Maybe if I pound it into my head, it will actually happen, huh?  

In any case here's a picture of the finished hat that I made... my youngest asked to be my model.  :)  

After the kids make the bear head, they then cut out the animal pictures and glue the animals in order onto their hats.  I have my kids hold the picture to the band and count to ten.  This assures that they get a good stick on the back.  Plus, it's a great excuse to practice some math!!  You can get the bear hat template for free here!  I'm feelin' generous!  :)

That's it!  That's all I have for today!  This was not as scary or intimidating as I thought it was going to be!  Aside from the few 'What the....uhhhhh what??!' moments inserting the pictures, this was actually quite easy!  Until next time!