Friday, July 29, 2011

Project funded!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated to my classroom Donor's Choose project!! Thanks to you my students will be able to learn about the importance science, exploration AND generosity!! I am so excited to dig into the materials once they arrive!!! Woohoo!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I just found these ADORABLE outfits guessed it, Target! How cute are they?? Perfect for my newest niece (first baby on my husbands side) I can't wait to give them to her when I meet her this weekend!! woohoo!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Donor's Choose Giveaway

Talk about great timing! Jennifer over at Herding Kats in Kindergarten is giving away 3 donors choose gift cards worth 10 dollar each!! That means 3 people will win this awesome giveaway! With my project so close to being fully funded and just over a month left, this would be an AWESOME giveaway to win! Go on over to Herding Kats in Kindergarten and enter the giveaway, too! And Thank You Jennifer for hosting!! You rock!

And while you're at it, check out my classroom project! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011


I continue to be amazed by the generosity in the world, but at the same time do not hesitate to offer that same generosity to others. Isn't that interesting? I make a point to treat others with the same love and compassion that God gives us, yet It seems like I have become jaded because so often we see this view ignored. Does that make sense?
Well, yesterday I was both shown this generosity and also saw a child recognize it, too.

I am currently waiting tables as a summer job at our local (amazing) athletic club, and last night was a busy night. I had a table with three kids all under 5 and their mom, who was just the sweetest lady on earth! Well, loving kids, I find myself spending my extra time chatting with them at the table (don't we all? haha) and at the end of the night, the little girl looked up at me and said "You have been so nice to us!" With a sweet mix of confusion and love. Wow. I know her mom gives her lots of attention (as evidenced at the table) but you could tell that the little girl often felt "ignored" by others. I responded by telling her thank you and she had been so nice to me! Don't you just LOVE children? Even when they are bugging the living daylights out of me, if I just step back, I can't help but LOVE who they are! I know as teachers you are all nodding your heads in agreement, but it still amazes me that not everyone in the world feels the same way...sigh...

Well, here comes part 2 of my generosity story. Last night I woke up around 2:30 (2nd night in a row! ugh) and couldn't sleep, so I checked my email and had a new donation in my donors choose project! While this might not seem like a big deal, let me tell you, it has been hard to get this project funded! I've had a couple of donations from family and friends, but for months it has been sitting with over 200 dollars left needing to be filled and the proposal ends in august. I had come to the conclusion that it just would not be funded, and "oh well". Well, last week I got an email that my project was up for a match grant from lakeshore...but that meant I still needed donors. I HATE asking for money, so I smiled when donors choose put it on facebook, but other than that, I left it alone. Well, someone I do not know donated to our project last night and now with the match it is almost fully funded!! I am in AWE of this person's generosity!!

So, today I am reflecting on the good in the world. It reminds me of the importance of showing generosity to others as well as recognizing others when they show it to you. What an amazing this to be reminded of :)


Who doesn't love shoes?? Well, Mrs Tabb at First Grade Awesomeness created an awesome mini unit on shoes!! It is adorable, and will be perfect in my shoe loving classroom! The best part is, she's giving it away for free! Check her out and give her some extra luck in Vegas! ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Classroom update

Well, I just got back from my classroom and am excited to say I am DONE dye cutting for the summer! (See Word Wall Post for more on that) Phew! So, now for an update on my summer to do list. The big job is done, but there is still plenty to do!!

(See Summer To-do list for more info)

1. organize library- almost done! I've sorted all of my books, and now they just need to be put in their bins (labeled already!) I'll probably do that when I get back to school and set up my new library area. I've also started a detailed spreadsheet with the books I have that go with specific lessons or themes, which I am also almost done with! Our kinder team will be combining our lists to make a more comprehensive library. Yay!

Also, I found this super cute (and affordable!) Book rack on amazon!! I've been wanting an option other than keeping my theme of the week books on the whiteboard, and this is perfect! Only 26.99!
(this is where I used to keep books. see bottom right of picture. the books were always falling off!)
Now I can keep this baby in my new library area! woohoo!

2. learning labs- this is my next step...ugh. I was planning on doing structured folder games/activities...and now I am leaning towards Mrs. Sneaker's format of having learning labs 1-2 times a week and social skills lessons on the other days (while
 the eld kiddos are out of the room) We are talking about what this might look like. so for now, I'm going to develop a smaller learning labs structure just in case, and add to it should I need to. This is kind of scary for me, because I can't picture what it is going to look like....

3. new rug- they have been ordered and are on their way as we speak!! Thanks Mrs. Sneaker!!

4. Die cutting- done!!

and of course, i've added to my list and am now working on my
1. new bee theme, lots to do on that!
2. making a "Book hospital" box, cute!
3. new helper charts
4. and of course, buying every cute thing I see/need (haha)

Fun To-Do List :)
1. READ! I've been slacking, but am in the beginning of reading Heaven is for real. SO GOOD!!

2. Take care of the garden/hopefully have some grass growing soon! :) DONE! A work in progress, but I love it!

3. Go camping! sadly, this hasn't been done yet...but I am going to Canada with girlfriends in a week!

4. Lay by the pool/lake/ocean/just plain outside as much as possible- never enough :)

How's your to-do list looking?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And the winner is....

Keys4Education said...

I am now following your adorable blog! :o)

July 16, 2011 9:33 PM 

Congratulations Keys4Education!! Email me and I will send you all of the awesome prizes in our pack! 

Pinterest redo

All you need is a box of crayons, a (dollar spot at Target!) basket, and a hot glue gun! This took literally 5 minutes to create!

Simply 2nd resources shared an adorable crayon box that she did a remake of. Well, naturally, I repinned her pin because it was ADORABLE! It is a crayon box that will be where all the kiddos can put their broken crayons in, and then I can make cute gifts out of them! Check out Becca's blog for her cute ideas on how to use the broken scraps!

Check out the bubbly blonde!

Alisha, also known as The Bubbly Blonde is a totally adorable blogger! I LOVE reading her posts and she always has fun freebies to share! Well, she has been given a fun little challenge by her man. If she gets 100 followers he is going to buy her the camera she has been salivating over!!

Wanna help a girl out? :) Follow her adorable blog!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to make a noise level poster

I've had a few people ask me how I made my Noise Level Poster on vistaprint. Well, it was super easy!

The image I used for the poster I got from Gracehopper Learning. She was so sweet and created the poster and then shared it as a freebie! Thanks, Gracehopper! :)

  1. Once you have the poster on your computer, go to Vista Deals and choose free uploads. then choose the poster size you would like and continue. it will then prompt you through a few formatting choices, then you can upload your image. By doing this step you are able to upload an image for free, instead of paying to add your photo! (You won't end up actually purchasing this one)
  2. Now, close out that window and go back to the vista deals link and choose free poster. Now you are creating your real poster! choose your size and then get started! Go through their full list of templates and the one I chose was on the 7th page toward the bottom. follow the directions and MAKE SURE to choose add photo already uploaded! this will make it so you can use the picture from step #1! :) (and not pay for it!) Follow all the steps to customize the poster to your liking (I didn't do anything special, or cropping, even if it said to and it turned out fine!)
  3. The last step is going to your card and DELETING the first poster you made (the plain one). It should now say free next to your colorful poster. all you will need to pay for is shipping. 
I promise it's not as complicated as it sounds! :) Just make sure you only have 1 poster in your cart when you are ready to pay and it will be free! 

Happy vista-ing! :) Feel free to message me if you have any questions! I'd love to help! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Un-BEE-lievable Giveaway!!

I'm Teaming up with Alysia, aka Miss B from Miss B, Busy Bee To celebrate her 100th follower and over 4,000 views, We will be giving away everything in her Teachers Pay Teachers Account (16 items) PLUS a set of bee-themed resources: Bee-havior Posters and Tracking Sheet, a honeycomb game, numbered and blank bee cards  (for calendar, name tags, labels, games, etc.) plus an English/Spanish Bee Letter (that accompanies our class stuffed animal home).
Here's what you can do to win: (1 comment for each)
1. Follow my blog and comment that you do. (or follow by email if you don't have a blog)
5. Add my blog to your blogroll and comment that you did it.
6. Blog about my giveaway and you get 5 comment entries! (1 more bonus if you use my logo from the top of my page and link it to this page!)

That's 8 possible entries from my page alone!!!

Miss B, Busy Bee

Head over to Miss B, Busy Bee and enter there!
A shout out to other blogs with bee-themed freebies: (tell them I sent you!)

Busy Bees Journal Covers for Free!

 A Place to Share's Long Vowel Bee game.
Dana was my 100th follower so she will be receiving all of the freebies!

Download Write and Draw Sight Words!

125 bee button
Crafty sisters at Bee in our Bonnet!
Have you heard of Tumblebooks? Here's a free digital read along book to use with your students! They can also play games and do other fun activities!

And check out this other giveaway from Mrs. Tabb at Another Day in First Grade!
There will be one winner from each site!  Good luck, contest ends Wednesday, July 20th at midnight EST.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blog Mixer

Umm? Mixer? Yes please! :)

Yearn to Learn is having a blog mixer! Check out some of my fave blogs and then link up with your own!
In your link up find the following:

1.  A blogger who is a "New Kid on the Blog"
(Let's say someone who has blogged 2 months or less and has less than 200 followers)
Down Under Teacher
 - This blogger is so adorable! She shares so many great ideas and I love all of her freebies!And of course, I read everything she posts in an australian accent ;)
2.  Post a blogger in your same grade level
Sneaker Teacher
- 1 word...a-maz-ing! Mrs. Sneaker rocks my socks! and its not just because she is my awesome teaching partner! She has inspired me so much this past year! Not only does she have exciting and fun ideas that she posts about on her blog, she has the best writing style of anyone I know! I'm sure most of you follow her already, cuz that's how I found you! But, if you don't...YOU NEED TO! :)
3.  Post a blogger in a different grade level

 Jena is awesome! she is a great blog designer (shoutout for Bee's Kindergarden's new look!) and she is an awesome teacher is so many fun ideas that she shares with us all!

4.  It's all about the button. Find a cute blog button and post it.

 Gladys rocks! and I mean, really, who doesn't love heels?? I admire her so much!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Welcome cards

I am planning on sending out these awesome welcome cards (I got the idea on the pro teacher forum listed in my vistaprint below!) For kinders, I'm not sure how far in advance I will know who's in my class, but I'm hoping to get these out! We'll see!

(I got the postcard from Keen on Kindergarten, check her out! She's got great ideas!)

Do you send home a welcome note? Link up with First Grade Frame of Mind and share your ideas, too!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Do you Vistaprint??

Can I get a "heck ya" for vistaprint?? C'mon, you must know what I'm talking about! If you don't, you need to :) Even if you're not a teacher, my hubs and I have used it for address stamps (Mr. Bee RAVES about this!) and christmas photo cards. <3 Vistaprint!! The best part is all the deals you can get!! I foundVista Print Addicts and through the deal codes posted I just got ALL of these things for a total of 26.99! The big banner was pretty much the entire cost, everything else was free!! check it out!! Do you vistaprint???

sticky notes-free

business cards-free

business cards to go home with parents at beginning of year-free


self ink stamper!!-free!

magnet for whiteboard-free! Maybe I won't have kids asking what to do all the time? (Wishful thinking!)

business card magnets-going home in back to school night packets!!-free!
back- postcard to send home in august-free!! *I got the postcard from Keen on Kindergarten, check her out for great kinder ideas!! 

poster-free! *Disclaimer- I found this graphic through one of the amazing blogs I follow, Gracehopper Learning check her out for some awesome freebies and ideas!


BIG banner for the meet and greet! will go behind benches the 3 kinder teachers sit at during check in :) -20.99

AWESOME CREATIONS!! I made a bunch more things, but didn't order them because I didn't want to spend any money. haha. love the freebies!! Only downside is you can't upload any pictures (or clipart) or it costs more. I still <3 vistaprint! What have you made?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Blog design!

Check out my new blog design!! Thanks to the FABULOUS Miss Snowden I now have a custom Bee themed cute!! I'm still playing around with it to find the perfect fit of fonts and new symbols, but what do you think so far?? I think she did such a great job!! Any advice on colors I should change (fonts, labels, etc)?

I'd love it if you grabbed my new button and put it on your blog, it's so cute!!

Mrs. Bee's Kinder Garden
While you're at it, please join my parent involvement linky party! So far it's pretty lonely with only 2 entries. Join in!!
Mr. Bee and I are off to a movie, hope you all enjoy your sunday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Classroom Jobs

I am loving all of the classroom job ideas that Mrs Dillard's 1st grade shared! You've got to check out this linky party, fun!

For the past 3 years I have used a chart that I got at the dollar store with a fish theme. it had 8 fish bowls and fish for each child to have their own. So cute! The only problem is, I ran out of fish (they started to get beat up, even when laminated) so, I threw the chart out and luckily this coincided with my new classroom theme.

I've been on the hunt for the perfect bee themed classroom job chart, but just hadn't found the perfect one. THEN, this linky party came along. WOOHOO!!Down Under Teacher Shared her BEE themed board, and it is EXACTLY what I have been picturing in my mind, and the best part is FREE!! How cool is this??? I'll have the same jobs as previous years (might add some cute ones I've seen, but its hard to manage so many jobs in 1/2 day i'm not sure)

Here are my jobs...

Table boss (5) One from each table. they pass out papers and get supplies for their table. The kids love this job :)

Attendance- makes sure all of the kids put their picture up when they get to school, takes down pictures at the end of the day

Lab Boss- helps make sure the learning labs are cleaned up and put away properly (need to teach this job better next year :) )

Books/recycling (2) takes notes, recycling, etc to the office when needed (I want to change the name of this...but not sure what yet)

I might add line leader (we don't walk the halls that often, so I haven't had this in the past)
door holder (need this one!)

What do you do? Be sure to share your ideas with

And don't forget to join my parent involvement linky party!!! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Parent Involvement Linky Party

*The discussion is starting to get really good, and we'd love you have you join in! What do you do at your school or in your classroom to help encourage parent involvement?? What amazing things have you seen happening?? Link up and share your ideas. I've already got some new ideas to try next school year!

Here's what I've been doing:
*Classroom blog and email updates
*Friday Folders
*Meet and Greet
*Sign-ups for volunteers
*Volunteer Calendar

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Parent involvement

Donut Diva asked a GREAT question about parent involvement on my back to school night post. Just in case you didn't see this, I thought I'd share!

Blogger Donut Diva said...

Just wondering how do you fund the ice cream social and how do you get the word out. Our meet and greet is district wide from 11 - 1 the day before school starts it is a terrible time.
What other things does your school do to involve parents and families. I am student council advisor and trying to think of some new ideas.

Awesome question! Here is my response:
Our wonderful PSO (parent-staff organization) helps fund our ice cream! They even help run the event!! Our event is only for our school (so we can set the time) usually from 5:30ish-7:30ish if I remember correctly. that way parents can come after work. Our school sends out a letter to incoming families a couple weeks before the event to let them know who their teacher is, info on the meet and greet and first day of school. I think they might also do an automated reminder as well the night before.
We have a secretary that speaks spanish, so she translates over a wireless signal to headphones for parents who need translation. It's great!!
Parent involvement definitely can be a continuous battle, but I've found that connecting through email (and finding out email or paper preferences) has helped a lot! I use my classroom blog to update parents, but also send email/note reminders about anything important. We also have a bi-monthly newsletter that goes out with information on all events/school news. The front office secretary makes and distributes this, and it can either be delivered to the students class or by email depending on preferences.

Wow, there are lots of ideas! Maybe this is a new idea for a linky party :)

These were just a few ideas I could think of, but am SURE there are many more!! What kinds of things do you do to connect with parents?

Back to School Supplies

I was lucky enough to come into a well oiled machine when it came to supply organization! These ladies were PROS! 3 years later, I still love the way we do our kinder meet and greet. The week before school starts we have a evening where families come, check in, meet their teacher, and drop off their supplies. Once they check in with me, they kiddos go into the classroom/hallway where there are spots labeled for each supply item. once they have sorted them, they can check out the room and get their picture taken. This is also when I have parents sign up volunteer info (days available, contact info, etc).

Once the rush has died down and everyone has dropped off their supplies, there is an ice cream social in the cafeteria. We head in about half way through, and the kids go on a short bus ride with chaperones while we introduce ourselves/go over general information about kindergarten.

During this time, a few volunteers (not current parents) put away all of the supplies for us. So when we are done, everything has been put in its closet/place and we are good to go!! How awesome is this??

Now a little disclaimer: We will be changing this a little bit this year. in the past, we have not participated in back to school night because we do the meet and greet. this year we are planning on doing the meet and greet without the presentation. We will then give a more in depth presentation to our class only the first week of school at back to school night.

We used to have a bbq (before I came) it was called the Kinder Q. How cute is that??? aww...budget cuts...

How do you organize your classroom supplies?? Check out Mrs. Kincaid's Linky Party and share your ideas!