Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Best Pencil Sharpener Ever!!!

Last year, I was given the opportunity to review a pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies. I had read on several blogs that it was so quiet and wonderful and with the bad luck we've had with the typical metal wall mount pencil sharpeners we have installed, I was super duper anxious to try this one out.

We quickly opened up the box and put the sharpener to great use. I was beyond thrilled at the fact that our pencils were now sharpening on all sides!!! Did you hear that? The entire pencil was sharp on all sides!!! :) I seriously think every single classroom needs this sharpener

Source: Classroom Friendly Supplies

My students absolutely love using this sharpener, too! We had to have mini-lessons on how to use it appropriately and I'm not kidding you, I had kids lined up to sharpen pencils with this cute little sharpener! They were so excited to be able to put a new pencil and it come out completely sharp and without eating their entire pencil like our old sharpener. Our previous sharpener would eat an entire brand new pencil in one sharpening and still leave one whole side unsharpened.

It takes a bit of getting use to for some kiddos to use, but they are able to use it easily once they have practiced a few times. The kids mainly want to pull the pencil out without pressing the buttons together at the top and I'm afraid that might hurt it eventually.

I have added 'Pencil Sharpener' to our classroom jobs. I have one student that sharpens all our pencils for us. He/she stocks up the pencil pocket with lots of sharp pencils for the week and we love not having the constant interruption of someone using the old wall mount sharpener, which was incredibly loud and obnoxious at all the wrong times.

If you don't already have one of these fabulous pencil sharpeners, head on over to Classroom Friendly Supplies to check out the fun colors available and then order one ASAP! If you can't afford one right now, be sure to add it to your requisition for next year. They take purchase orders! :)

 ***I received a Groovy Green Pencil Sharpener for my honest review of the product.***

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I have a new job next year!

This post is very bittersweet for me. On one hand, I can't imagine my life not teaching Kindergarten and all the special things that have made it just right for me. However, I have graciously been given the opportunity to be our elementary school Library Media Specialist next year and I have welcomed the position with open arms. I knew about the opening a week before this school year started and after lots of prayer, I asked to be switched.

Our School Board made my upcoming job official a week ago yesterday. Part of me feels like I won't belong to this wonderful community of Kindergarten teachers anymore in the same way, but the other part of me has had a hard time containing my excitement for this next step in my life.

I have so many wonderful ideas for next year and on one hand, I'm counting down the days until I get to go from a class of 20 to a school of 460+. However, the other part of me secretly wishes that time would slow down a little because this is my baby's year of Kindergarten and I don't want to wish my life away and rush her young years. Plus, there are so many things I won't get to do as a librarian that I have been blessed to have been able to do as Kindergarten teacher. There is something so magical about this age and teaching this grade level that I don't think anyone but Kindergarten teachers can truly understand.

My family has been extremely supportive about my upcoming position and I know next year will be a big adjustment, but I have prayed about this opportunity and the timing just seemed right for our family. Before school started, there was the possibility of having to start the LMS position this school year. However, it was decided that since the class lists had already been sent out and families knew what class their kiddos were in that it would be easier to hire substitutes for the library for this year and I could start my new job next year. This was a blessing because I am getting to go through Kindergarten with my daughter this year. Although she is not in my class, I get to see her all the time and I get to do things like class parties, field trips, inside recess, lunch, etc. that I wouldn't be able to do as easily if I were already in the library.

I will not be closing this blog down completely because I have lots of resources that people still might want to use. However, it is likely that I won't be blogging on here much after the end of this school year. I hope you understand. My plan is to begin a library blog for Pre-K through sixth grade teachers that will focus on a variety of activities for Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies, along with Character Education topics, as well. Once I get it up and running, I will post a link to it and I hope that some of you will follow along. By the way, if any of your librarians have a blog, I would love it if you would send me a link. They are much harder to find than Kindergarten blogs. :)

You have all been so wonderful to me throughout this fun journey and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to have countless conversations and interactions with so many of you. You are truly some of the most hard-working, caring, compassionate, driven and determined educators I know! Keep up the great work!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Finally Bundled My Hundreds Chart Hidden Picture Activities!

Thanks to the gentle recommendations from sweet readers to bundle my hundreds charts into one set, I finally used a few snow days to stay inside and work on it! After going through all of these charts individually the last few days, I now realize what a pain it would be to have to add them all to your cart individually. I understand now why it was so time consuming for you. I didn't even realize I had made this many charts. :)

In this bundle, you will receive 70 Hundreds Chart Hidden Picture Activities for only $35! That is half the price you would pay for each chart individually! I chose not to include the alphabet charts with the set, but you can still buy them in my TpT store.

Here are the charts that are included in this bundle: (If there is a number beside the chart, the number indicates how many charts are included.)

100th Day
Abraham Lincoln
Apple Tree Life Cycle (4)
Big Bad Wolf
Brown Bear
Chocolate Easter Bunny
Christmas Present
Christopher Columbus Ship
Cindo de Mayo
Cupcake with Sprinkles
Earth Day
Easter Basket
Easter Bunny
Easter Crosses
Easter Egg
George Washington
Gingerbread Man
Haunted House
Hearts Aplenty
I Love Dad
Kitty Cat
Leprechaun Hat
Leprechauns (2)
Monarch-like Butterfly
Native American
Polar Bear
Puppy Dog
Rainbow and Pot of Gold
Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa's Hat
Santa's in the Chimney
Santa's Suit
Snow People/Snowman
Summer Treats (Ice Cream & Popsicle)
Veteran's Day

Don't forget, TpT accepts purchase orders. If you don't feel like you can afford the set now, but you believe this is something you might use next year, keep the purchase order capability in mind when filling out your requisitions! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Butterfly and Chicken Life Cycles Activities and More!

We got an early start to our Spring Break today in the form of an unexpected snow day! :) While I'm not a huge fan of having to keep extending our school year, I have to admit that a day off on the same day Scrappin' Doodles offers a 25% off coupon is a pretty good day in my book!

I had lots of time today to create a few new life cycles units, a new chicken/hen hundreds chart. I am working on a couple of freebies that I will be posting over the next week.

It is $1 less than the other two because I didn't include an emergent reader with it. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Five Super Leprechauns Shared Reading, Finger Puppets and More!

If you need a fun and fast last minute St. Patrick's Day activity, I just created Five Super Leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day subtraction! You get the following items: Shared Reading (color and black/white), Retelling Finger Puppets and a subtraction Emergent Reader. Click on the picture below to take a peek!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Updated Leprechaun Hundreds Charts

When I originally began making hundreds chart activities, I didn't think to always try to fill in the background color so students would be engaged with the majority of the numbers to 100. I basically only required them to color the item that would be revealed in the picture. Now, I always try to add background colors.

I updated my Leprechaun chart listing to include a new chart, along with the old one. You can see the differences in the picture below. The old one (on the right) is much easier because of all the white space. However, it would also be better for differentiating instruction for kiddos who seem to be overwhelmed by nearly 100 numbers. I'm leaving it up to you to decide which one to use with your class if you choose to purchase it. :) If you've already purchased the chart, but sure to go back and download the new update.

Just for Fun Hundreds Chart Hidden Picture Activities

I think all of this snow and chilly weather is making me anxious for spring to arrive! I have sunshine, green grass, flowers, and all kinds of wonderful thoughts of being outside! What about you? Are you ready for some Spring time weather?