Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Gift for Our Student Teacher

This past week was the last week my class and had our student teacher with us. She has been so fabulous and she is a natural teacher. She spent 12 weeks with us and my class and I will miss her terribly!
I put together a goodie bag of items for her. She is planning on an owl theme for her first classroom so I bought borders, desk plates, and name tags. I also bought Mr. Sketch Markers because you've just GOT to have those. I added a personalized notepad and erasable pens for her planner. I stuck it all in a monogrammed 31 bag. My teammates also contributed and gave her other goodies to get her started.

I knew I wanted to give her a parting gift from the class and I didn't want to ask for anything from the parents. We decided to make a book for her and it turned out absolutely so adorable! I didn't correct any spelling at all I wanted it all to be exactly as the students had written it.

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Their advice was REALLY good! I think you can tell that they have been in my classroom all year long! I told them to think about things they have liked about our classroom and their kindergarten classroom. I said, "Remember, Ms. Chappel will be setting up a classroom for the first time. That can be overwhelming!" Here are a few samples from our book:


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My advice is to make fun stations.


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My advice is to keep your classroom organized.


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My advice is to have a routine so the children know what to do. My second advice is to have lots of books so children can read a lot.

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My advice is to have a good breakfast.

The whole book turned out so stinkin cute and it was full of excellent advice including "put the alphabet on every desk!"  Each student signed their name to their page and we presented our book at the end of the day. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I have a Peep problem

How in the world is Easter almost here?! 
Well that means it's time to break out all of my Easter Centers. I went a little crazy buying plastic eggs a few years ago and wrote this post with a freebie you've got to have to use with your plastic eggs. You can snag the freebie from the post or right here.

Last year I stumbled upon a super cute book called Rabbityness and our class created a really cute art project you can read about here.

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So....confession.

My name is Jennifer and I have a Peep problem!

99% of the time I eat SUPER healthy. I don't crave many sweets or treats. But there's something about Peeps that I can't get enough of. I bought pink Peeps at the grocery store this week and I'm secretly hoping my niece gets Peeps in her Easter basket so I can steal some!

I have not told my class that I have this Peep addiction because they are real sweethearts and I'll end up with more Peeps than my pants can handle-HA!
I threw together a quick little graphing activity.

The answer is included!

Later this week we will also be completing activities from my For My Peeps packet. 

One of my favorite activities from this pack has the students creating their own jellybean! It's all very official. The head of a jellybean company sends them a letter asking for help. They get so creative! A cute little questionnaire about their new jelly bean flavor gets stapled behind the jellybean. 

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What are you doing this week in your classroom?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Product swap and Giveaway!

I participated in a product swap with some other fantastic bloggers! If you don't follow their blogs you've just got to. They all have so many great ideas and products to make your classroom life easier.

I tested and reviewed a product from Surfin' Through Second. Her TPT store is full of amazing ideas and if you take a peek you'll soon be adding items to your wish list. I chose to try out her 


I've grown a little bored of the way we do word work. We've used a tic-tac-toe boards all year and that's been ok. But now near the end of the year we are almost out of lined paper and all we have left is oodles of Handwriting Without Tears paper. These spelling helpers are so cute. There are boxes for all the spelling words you have and several activities. I picked four and ran them off as a packet. Students complete one page per day as part of their word work. I decided to just ask a couple of students from each reading group to test it out for one week. THEY LOVED IT! 
Here's what they loved:
-They didn't have to wait for paper.
-The activities were fun!
-They loved the rhyming activity the best.
-All their practice was in one spot.

The next week EVERYONE got a spelling practice packet for word work. It's unanimous- the kids love it and don't want to go back to loose paper anymore. 

It was also nice knowing when I have a sub that word work won't be an argument or issue.

These bloggers also reviewed products. Be sure to check out their posts!


Chalk Talk
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Surfin' Through Second

A Teeny Tiny Teacher
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ABC's and Polka Dots

To celebrate the swap Kimberly from Funky First Grade Fun is having a giveaway! Head over to her blog for your chance to win a $50 gift card to The Vintage Pearl. The Vintage Pearl makes super cute stamped jewelry!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 7, 2014

A picture book for your money unit

This year I purchased a new picture book to incorporate into our money unit. We've been working on counting groups of coins which is always challenging. There is a really cute book called The Penny Pot that I ordered on Amazon.


It's a really cute and simple story. Children want to get their faces painted but don't have enough money. The pictures show what each child has in change and how they count the coins.


I read it to my whole class then used it again in small groups. With some students we simply grabbed the same coins as in the illustrations and practiced counting. With other students who have a good grasp on counting groups of coins I asked them to make the same number of cents with more or fewer coins. 

Add this book to your wish list! You won't be sorry!





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