June 12, 2018

Last Day of School Gifts for Coworkers or Students

Let's face it. The end of the school year is CRAZY! As much as I think I prepare for it as spring approaches, it always sneaks up on me! At my school gifts and favors are the norm. Now, I'm a girl on a budget and a tight schedule so I was looking for something original, cheap, and low maintenance. I saw these drink floats on Amazon and just knew this would be my end of year favor.

I posted pictures of the favors I made for my adult coworkers. I made 2 versions. Kool-Aid packets with umbrellas and straws for my students and wine versions for my coworkers who really earned a drink this year (it was a tough one). Here is a list of everything you will need to make these favors (san wine) for your coworkers and students. Good luck!


You'll need:

                


June 1, 2018

Subscription Addiction: My Honest (and Unsponsored) Review of Subscription Boxes


As summer slowly approaches, I wanted to focus a little less on work and more on the fun little things that make life just a little easier. I've recently become obsessed with subscription boxes. Some have been much better than others so I figured I'd break it down for you in a totally unbiased, unsponsored way. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to share some of my experiences, both good and bad, with subscription boxes!

First, I wanted to begin with my FabFitFun box. I know; I'm basic. I first got the box when I saw they had a Kate Somerville exfoliator I use that costs $75. Considering the box was only $50, I figured I could get that and some other goodies. I was pleasantly surprised when I really liked the other products in the box. Here are my pros and cons of the FabFit Fun Box!



1. It really is a good value
It's sometimes hard to trust all those Instagram #ad posts I see about FabFitFun. I figured it was a box with junk, but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the products in the box. 

2. Customizations
When you subscribe for a year, you get to customize your box! When customizations open, you get to pick out about 4 of the products that go into your box.  

3.  FabFitFun TV
When I subscribed for the year I also go at home workouts and other benefits on their website. I really like the barre classes online!


Final Thoughts: Overall I think FabFit Fun is a great deal and you get tons of cute, high-quality products. If you'd like to see more, use my affiliate link HERE and get $10 off your first box!




May 28, 2018

Digital Behavior Charts Using Google Sheets!



Let's be honest; behavior charts are a lot of work. Between managing each section of the day, sending it home each night, having it returned each day, and making copies for your records, it's no wonder why so many can be less than effective. I utilize Google Apps a lot in my room, and I knew there was a way to use Google as a tool to make my life a little bit easier.

Below is a picture of my behavior chart. I made it using Google Slides. It's super easy to make, but if you want a free copy of mine, head on over to my Instagram page (@happylittlekindergarten) and find out how to get a copy of mine for FREE. 




Here's how I use mine:

1. Instead of sending home a paper each night, I simply share my Google Sheet with the parent. I encourage the parent to download the Google Sheets App on their phone so they can checkin throughout the day. 

2. I also share this with my student on Google Classroom. Tip: Only allow the student to view this in the 'advanced settings'. 

3. Make a copy and add pages for each week. This way you can make sure you have every copy of the behavior chart for your records. 

4. Add comments in sections to describe why the child didn't each a checkmark by clicking 'insert' and 'comment' in the section. This can help explain behaviors to the parent, principal, behavior specialist, etc. 

May 23, 2018

Musical Instrument STEM Challenge

The engineering process is an important step in using STEM in your instruction. I find that many kids these days don't know how to persevere through failures. I've found that teaching the engineering process while teaching STEM lessons helps lesson the helplessness and encourage students to think outside the box.

Here is a STEM lesson I taught and a few helpful tips I learned along the way to limit the chaos! 

1. Teach the engineering process

Focus on the fact that engineers almost never get it right the first time. I show this Kid President video then explain how the engineering process is an ongoing cycle. 

2. Introduce the problem (ask & imagine)

Explain to students that we have to make instruments that make at least 2 sounds. Reiterate that is does not have to look like a traditional instrument. My class had a long conversation about this. I even showed them a Stomp video. I gave out the material list and explained that they could use only 5 items on the list to make their instruments. I gave students time to imagine their concepts and talk about it. 


3. Plan


Students use their planning paper and the materials list to draw out their concepts. My students walked back and fourth between their tables and the materials to get ideas. 


4. CREATE! 


I use a cute stamp to 'approve' their designs. Once approved, students can get materials and begin to design. Some students had a lot of trouble in they stage. I allow students to replan their instrument if an idea isn't working out. Warning: this is messy and loud. Get used to it. 




5. Test and improve

Students use the self-assessment paper to test and improve their designs. I allowed students to redesign or keep their original if they were happy with it. If the students needed something to do they can help a friend or decorate their instruments. 




Because the engineering process is an ongoing cycle, technically you could do this projects for weeks. However, I'll admit I was happy once this was over! It took a little planning and a lot of cleaning, but overall I felt it was successful because my students were able to express themselves creatively, work though problems, and have fun! Good luck!

Get the full lesson plan HERE!





April 29, 2018

A Week of FREE Reading Plans!


Lesson planning can get so tedious, especially towards the end-of-the-year! I wanted to share my lesson plans for this week with you all to use. I have Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription and I use the free books in many of my lessons and I LOVE it. I wanted to share how useful this service is in my classroom. 

1. No more 'I can't see the picture!' - By reading the book on my SmartBoard, every student has a front row seat! 

2. My students can reread the books on our classroom Kindles or on Chromebooks - You can download the books to your Kindles with the push of a button. I often see my students using our Kindles to reread the stories at Read to Self. You can also access the books on Amazon Kindle Reader on Chromebooks! 

3. No more lost books - I'm not always the most organized teacher. I add links to my lesson plans so all I have to do it click and POOF, my book is ready to read! 





April 25, 2018

Cactus Mother's Day Craft!


When the end of the school year approaches, it's easy to forget about a Mother's Day project! This year I wanted to make something that our moms could put on their desk at work, or the kitchen counter. These cacti are perfect! I especially love that you can't kill them (succulents don't do well with me). Here is what you'll need:

Your Imagination! 




Print out cacti on green cardstock. Have the students cut them out. Cut along the dotted line and insert the pieces together. Tape or glue to a paper or cardboard circle inside the pot and decorate! I added small hearts to my cacti!

Print cards and have students decorate. 





April 3, 2018

Chick Activities and a Giveaway!



A few weeks ago my class raised chicks in our classroom. Being new to first grade, this was the first time doing this. Although the entire process only last 2 weeks, I was exhausted. Raising 12 baby chicks is no easy feat! Obviously, my students all wanted to hold and play with them, but I also needed to find meaningful ways to teach my students about the life cycle of a chick. To make my life somewhat manageable I made a Chick Journal to organize all of my chick lessons. At the end of the unit, my students presented their Chick Journals to their parents. Here are some of the activities we completed!

Cover: Of course we had to have a cute cover for my students to decorate!

Chicken Fun Facts: My students wrote a book of facts about chickens. We used these fun facts in our writing. 

Inside an Egg: I used this sheet while we were waiting for the chicks to hatch. My students were so curious what the chicks were doing inside the egg! 

Parts of an Egg: We also used this page before the chicks hatched. Students learned about the different parts you see in the eggs as they hatch. 

Chicken Life Cycle:  Of course we needed a life cycle visual! 


Chick Book of Facts: :I also have my students write a book of facts about chicks. I used this writing paper and had my students write 1 fact per page. They use websites like PebbleGo and BookFlix to find the information. 


You can purchase this Chick Journal on my first grade TPT store


Win A Chick Life Cycle Exploration Kit!









       




* Giveaway opens 4/04/18 at midnight and closes 4/10/18. Participants must complete Rafflecopter entry form to enter. 
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