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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New pack and Fan Freebie

Hiya there Peeps

Shuna here

Do your littles love when you bring out the 

The playdough center is always a fave among my littles! At the beginning of the year I like to have my students to do a lot of fine motor centers. We are doing a lot of alphabet centers during the first couple weeks of school. 
Here is a quick look at my new playdough centers!
I will be back Sunday to show you a closer look at my back to school centers.

These are on sale in my shop for today only
Click HERE to check them out 

I also just posted another FB fan freebie

Click the fan only tab to scoop up the color word mats

Click HERE to get the freebie

Peace Out Peeps

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Because Lining Up is Hard...

Hiya there peepers

Shuna here

How many times have you heard that? I am doing good if I hear it twice a day.

Aww, I wish I could go back to where the biggest dilemma was where I stood in line

Heck who am I kidding

Grown people have trouble standing in line so how can you expect little people to do it

Have you ever been in a busy McDonalds standing in line and someone walks in and bypasses you and goes right for the counter?

Umm HELLO rude person

I wasn't standing here at all 

Actually I like when strangers walk in and jump to the front

It is the perfect way to make new friends! 

I mean how dare me for actually waiting my turn


So how do I get my kiddos to line up?

Clipart: Laura and Mr. Magician Font: Kimberly 

I like to vary how I have my students line up because I don't like having the same students in the same spot every time we line up to go somewhere.

* Sometimes I have them line up in number order
-Each one of my students have a number I assign them. The students are in alphabetical order so when we need to go somewhere and they have to be in ABC order I put them in number order. When we go on field trips it is a quick way for me to keep track of the littles and see who might be missing. 

*Mystery Walker
Sometimes I tell the littles that I am going to choose a mystery walker. I go over the hallway expectations before we enter the hall and tell the kiddos what I am looking for. For example, I might look to see who is turned facing forward one day and who is using proper spacing another day. To check out more on the mystery walker you can click HERE
When the kiddos are lining up they recite the little mystery walker poem

You can get the poem here FREE

* Making it a Game

-Using a timer

Sometimes I use a timer and the littles line up while trying to beat the clock

The kiddos know that they must beat the timer and line up quickly and quietly. If the kiddos line up before the timer goes off they get a class point. If the kiddos have so enough class points by the end of the week they get extra recess time or dance time

- Playing a song
This goes along the lines of using the timer. The star student picks a song on a cd and the kiddos have to be in line BEFORE the star student turns the cd off. If everyone makes it in line before the star students cuts off the cd then they earn a class point. 
{ We do have a discussion about how long is an appropriate amount of time}
Mrs. Ricca also has some super cute line up songs. 

- Answering a question
If we have extra time I will give students a trivia question and the littles who have the correct answer will get to line up first. 

- Making it Silly 
I like to spice things up from time to time so sometimes I will tell the students to make it silly. The Star Student will call different tables and give them a silly action to do. For example the star student will call the quietest table to line up while hopping like a frog. The kiddos love this and it helps the littles get all of their wiggles out before we go into the hall.

* One thing that has really worked for me is the tell my kiddos how they will line up at the beginning of the day. I post it on my board so the kiddos will know what to do. Then every time we get ready to line up I tell the kiddos that it is time to line up. When it is time to line up I say okay go and they kiddos know what to do without me having to say a thing. If we are lining up by number order the kiddos who is number 1 will automatically get up and get in line and the other kiddos will follow suit.  

***Dealing with behavior***
I am super tough on them at the beginning of the year. The kiddos know that if I hear any talking, see any hands on the wall, then we will turn back around and go back to the room no matter how close we are to our destination. I can't tell you how many times we have gotten to the cafeteria door and had to turn around because one of the littles was playing! It breaks their little hearts but after a couple of weeks I have no problems. 

*****Dealing with cutting****
*Are you bleeding?
 *Do I need to call 9-1-1? 
No, well you two can work it out or both of you can go to the back
The end! 
My kiddos HATE,
being at the end of the line so they usually work it out between themselves.
We do talk about what happens if a little steps out of line and how they lose their spot. We also have conversations about being fair and making good choices

Don't you hate when you have your kiddos in line and are ready to go and that nice little voice comes on the intercom and says, " We aren't ready for your class yet!" What!
 Do you understand that it is an act of Congress to get 27 little people in line and quiet

So for those times I like to have my children play a whisper game. I tell the child in the front of the line a secret and they pass it all the way to the back of the line. It is quite interesting how I want pizza for lunch turns into I like my blue shoes

How do you get your littles in line? 

Oriental Trading is having a Spooktacular Giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win $500
From August 25th- October 19th, enter to win $ 500 in Halloween products of your choice from OT. That will make for a seriously awesome classroom party. Plus, they are giving away a $25 gift card everyday!
Click HERE to enter

Happy Teaching 

Peace Out Peepers

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Good Bye Poem Freebie

Hiya there peeps
Shuna here
This is going to be a really short post today.
I have been busy getting ready for my first day of school, which is tomorrow by the way.
I am excited but a little scared
I redid my Good Morning and Goodbye poems.
I use the good morning one as a way to start our day and get the kiddos focused before the day begins.
The goodbye poem I use as a way to get everyone settled before we leave for the day.
You can get the Good Morning poem here

If you grab the freebie I would love for you to leave me some feedback :)
You can get this poem HERE

On another note

I created a Freebie landing page so that it will be easy to find all of my freebies that I host off site.

Click the pic or the freebie tab at the top

Peace out Peeps

Wish me luck on my first week! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Transition Time.... It's like Hammer Time for the Classroom

No.... not really
but it got you to click, right?!

Hiya there Peepers

Shuna here

I hope everyone is getting settled into the new school year. 
The beginning of the school year can be super stressful for both the teacher and student. 
One of the things that frustrated me the most, as a first year teacher, was transitioning.
I mean just when I had gotten then all quiet and settled, it was time to move again! 
How many times do your students move throughout the day
20 times?

Transitions can be tricky business, 
especially when all of your students are not on the same page. 

Some are ready to move,
some have no idea what is going on,
 and some are not listening to a thing you have to say.

Here are some ideas I use when
Shh doesn't work.
Not that we should be shushing anyway
but some days a shush is all that I can muster
{ I am working on it :) }

This is one that I use all the time. It is quick and easy. I know that a lot of teachers 
use the 1,2,3, move but I put my own little twist on it. 
When I say:
1: The kiddos stand ( If they are sitting at their desk they push their chairs up and stand)
2: Fingers are over mouths and all talking stops
3: Students move
Groundbreaking isn't it
But it works

* Get Jiggy! 
I don't know if you have problems with draggers and slow pokes but I do. There are always students who need a little extra time to clean up and get themselves together. What do you do when some of your students are done with their work and waiting patiently for directions while you have others who need a bit more time? You don't want those students who are done to be disruptive, so what do you do?
I like to start a break brain. Nothing says put a move on it like seeing all your friends up getting jiggy and you are still cleaning up your desk!

I like to call those students who are done to the carpet and let them do a fun brain break while the other littles are finishing up. Click HERE to check out some brain breaks that I use .

You can also see more awesome brain breaks HERE

My students love, love, love these and it gets the wiggles out so when we do start working they are on task.

This is one of my faves

We can't play youtube in the classroom so I like to use Screenr to host the vids

*Call and Response Attention Grabbers 
These are great because they focus student's attention.
I use these a lot during center time or during whole group when I see off task behavior.
Because there is melody to the call and response the students can't help but participate.
I love to use these in my classroom and it is both fun and effective. My kiddos love these and it is much better than saying, "Be quiet" or my all time favorite, Hey you close your face!" :) 
Click HERE to grab these 

*Sing a Song
My kiddos loved, loved, loved to sing the theme song to Sid the Science Kid so when we are transitioning I start singing and the kiddos join in and by the time we are done with the song everyone is in place.
We also use the color words songs  and nursery rhymes just to name a few.

* Repeating Pattern Movements
I like to start a movement and then have the students mimic the movement. For example if I clap twice the students will clap twice. I continue making a pattern that the students mimic until I see that everyone is participating and ready to begin working.
* This is a great way to improve listening skills too*

* Count It Down
Students love a challenge so make your transition time fun. 
Making transition time a game can be a fun way to ensure that everyone is on task and listening. 
I might tell my students before they move to their seat that they have 15 seconds to move quietly and get their reader and pointer out. I tell them that I am watching to see which table will do this the quickest and the quietest and that whoever wins, that table will get to line up first or will be able to sit next to a friend on the carpet. 

*Teaching Transitions 
Observe when your students do transitions 
Notice what they are doing right and what needs work
Reteach and Redirect

Let your students know what is going to happen.
Students work better when they know what is coming and what you expect.
When you are ready for your transition instead of saying, "Hey you move there", tell the students in 5 mins we will move to the carpet so begin cleaning up then when it is time to move give them your signal.

Tips for making transitions work

Be specific about what you want students to do. Model for students the correct way to transition and have some students role play. If students are not transitioning correctly stop, talk about it and redirect.

Be organized
Nothing kills effective classroom management like down time. Have materials already set up before students transition so that  they will stay on task. 

Move around the room

Watch for students who may be off task and redirect. When students know that you are watching they are more likely to do what they are supposed to.

When to use
So you may be wondering when I use each transition. I don't like to do the same thing over and over so I like to change it up. I start by teaching my littles one transition a day and I use that one transition each time we move. After the students have learned that transition I move on to a new one. Once the students have learned all the transitions I mix them up depending on what we are doing. 

Another awesome idea is to create a Powerpoint that has all of your transition songs on them and use it with your smartboard. You can check out this idea HERE and HERE
Harry's Kindergarten has some great some that you can add to a PP and use for transitions

What transitions do you use in your classroom? I would love to hear your thoughts 

Happy Teaching

I linked up with Mandy for her Welcome Back Week

I along with some fellow kinder teachers have put together an amazing bundle with lots of cool goodies. Featured in the bundle are amazing and easy prep packs that will make your first few months of school a little easier! 
The bundle is 78% off 
If you are interested click the banner below

Peace Out Peepers

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Morning Bright and a Sale

Hiya there Peeps

Shuna here

I am linking up with the fabulous Christina
for a super cute and fun linky....high school style!
I don't know about you but I was quite popular at my high school,
probably because I went to school with the same people since elementary school and I knew E.V.E.R.Y.B.O.D.Y!
I was even voted Most Loquacious
which is a way to say that I never shut my mouth!
Now that I am a teacher I understand just how much I annoyed my teachers....

Here is my who's who

Teacher's Pet: Centers are a must in primary classrooms and can be a pain to set up and organize. I love, love, love centers and I enjoy the process of organized them. I put together a comprehensive pack of everything you will need to set up and start centers in your classroom. The pack includes instructions on how to plan centers, how to set them up, labels and posters for organization and much more!  Interested?! You can check it out HERE

Most Likely to Succeed: Keep reading down below :)

Best Couple: Simple and an easy way to get the littles to practice color words and number words. My kiddos love when I let them cut and paste so this is the perfect way to get them to practice those much needed skills in a fun way! Click HERE and HERE  to check them out

I start school in 2 weeks and I have been desperately trying to get everything done.

My to do list is still crazy long but I did mange to get my September Morning Work done

I love to have my littles come in and get started with something academically focused. 

Research says that when students come in and have a specific and focused task they tend to do better for the rest of the day. 

When my students come in they grab their morning work and get right to work. 

To check out what I do for my morning routine check out my blog post HERE

Peeps, I am so excited about this pack. This truly was a labor of love and will save me so much time when planning. I don't know about you but I would always run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find morning work. It was taking way, W.A.Y. too much time!
I wanted to create my own morning work because I wanted something that was systematic and challenged my littles. I  needed a way to incorporate those foundational kindergarten skills into our everyday routine and this morning work is going to be perfect for that.
I don't know about you but many times my students need extra practice with certain skills and with all the curriculum that needs to be covered sometimes the instruction moves a little too fast for some. I wanted to create something that my students could use to practice those needed skills over and over.

So here it is

I am so excited about my littles doing this morning work! 
Probably way, way more than I should be :)
You can check this pack out on
* Make sure to download and see the 13 page preview*

I also have a September Morning Bright Math Pack

Click HERE or  HERE to check it out

 are you still with me?!

Almost done

I promise

Pinky promise

I am also finishing up my room decor

I wanted to spiffy up my Good morning and goodbye poems.

I use these before I start my morning meeting and before we go home. It is a great way to get everyone settled before we start our lesson or leave for the day. These are the ones that I used for the last 2 years and they were in dire need of a makeover. 

The new ones are super duper purdy! 
I am in love with them

* Please excuse the fact that Grizzly is missing an "l". The download has the correct spelling*

These are posted on my FB fan page for FREE
Click the fans only tab to get them

I will be posting the Goodbye poem also on my FB page whenever I get my butt in gear and finish them up.

Last piece of business

I am having a sale

Use the code on TpT to get up to 28%

Click HERE to shop TpT

Click HERE to shop TN ( no code needed for TN)

Happy shopping

Peace out Peeps

Monday, August 12, 2013

Learning To Cut

Hiya there peepers

Shuna here

So last week I wrote a post all about how I teach my kiddos to glue and I received some questions and emails about how I teach them to cut so I thought I would share. If you missed the gluing post you can check it out here 

*First let me say that I spend about a week teaching explicit scissor and gluing skills. These lessons usually happen during the first week of school, since we are busy testing and haven't gotten into any real content yet.  After the first week all other instruction in embedded within the content. For example if we are doing a cut and paste sheet for morning work I would use that time to work on scissor skills.*

During the first few weeks my students do a lot of practice with scissors

It is a process to get them to use them correctly, one that takes some time but it is an important skill that they must master.

Scissor skills are important pre-writing skills because they help the strengthen hand muscles

Below are the steps that I use to get my kiddos using their scissors

Why do kids need to learn to tear? Tearing teaches the students how to use their two hands together, a skill they will need when cutting, and develops coordination. Put your kids in small groups and let them practice tearing different kinds of paper
You can have them start by tearing thinner sheets of paper like construction paper and work their way up to tearing thicker sheets such as cardboard. 

They will love this

If your students are not quite ready for scissors you can use clothespins, tweezers, punching cards and tongs to help them develop their fine motor skills and hand muscles. 

When first learning to cut I use a lot of things that are have a thicker material that is less likely to bend. 

Things such as foam, play dough, straws, junk mail and index cards are excellent things to use

The first thing that I do is to teach my kiddos how to snip and make small cuts. Snipping helps the kiddos learn to manipulate the scissors and gets them use to using them and making the correct motion to open and close the scissors. 

A really easy way to get the kiddos to practice snipping is to cut strips of paper and divide the strip into sections. It is really important that when they are first learning to use the scissors that they are making quick snips and can cut the paper in one cut. 

Playdough and straws can also be used to help practice snipping.

Since the students are only practicing snipping at this point you will need to have pre-cut strips for them. A snip is one quick cut

After the kidletts have gotten good at snipping I next teach them how to make fringe cuts. Fringe helps the kiddos learn to stop the scissoring action. Cutting grass is a great way to practice cutting fringe. Give your students a strip of green paper and let them practice making fringe cuts.

I like to fold the strip so that the students know exactly where to stop

I find that when I don't fold the paper some of the littles cut all the way to the end of the strip 

After the students have mastered cutting fringe I let them do a little art project

Cutting longer strips is the next step in the cutting process. Cutting strips helps the students learn to move the scissors on longer cuts. When cutting strips the students practice moving the scissors toward the top of the paper without closing the scissors.

I use paint strips to give the students practice cutting shorter strips and then move them to cutting longer strips. 

To practice cutting longer strips I give the littles a sheet of construction paper and let them practice cutting up the length of the page.

After your students have practiced cutting strips a bit they can do a fun art project. I like the have my students make a cute spider that lets them see how the strips can be used.
Remember at this point the kiddos have only been practicing how to cut strips so everything else will already need to be pre-cut for them.

Cutting curves helps the students learn to turn the paper when they cut. 
It is easier for students to cut beside the line instead of on it this helps with visual perception.

To practice cutting curves give my students a large strip of paper and I tell them to make bunny hops

The last two steps are to teach the kiddos how to cut out shapes

Since just about every art project is based on a combination of shapes it is important for the kiddos to learn how to cut them

Simple shapes are circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. 
Some complex shapes with corners and curves that the students can practice cutting are hearts and stars.

I came across a cute idea on Pinterest about how to get the littles to hold the scissors correctly
Place a google eye on the scissors so that they know when the eye is looking up they are holding the scissors correctly.
  { The pin didn't have a link so if you know whose idea it is please share so that I can credit them properly!}

After the students have mastered their scissor skills I give them a certificate 
Click the pic to pick up this freebie

When I do the art projects above I usually just make the templates by hand but this year I am just going to copy the templates below and have the kiddos color in the picture. Click the pic below to get the sun template and spider eyes.

For more awesome cutting ideas check out this site 

Do you have any fabulous tips that you use to help your littles learn to use their scissors?
I would love to hear what you do!

Happy Cutting
Peace Out Peeps


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