Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kindergarten Graduation & A Very Special Guest!!

Last Thursday we had our kindergarten graduation...yes, I know, I'm just now getting around to posting about it! :) Oh well, on the bright side, at least I am posting about it because it was quite the special day! Our kinders looked so adorable in their little caps even if the wind did keep blowing them off of their little heads! I was so proud of them and I still have mixed emotions about sending these kiddos off to first grade! They were my first class that I grew with as a teacher and a person and that I grew to love as if they were my own! (Not that I want 25 of my own little kids, but I sure did get my "kid fix" in this year! Hehe!) It didn't help that most of the kids didn't want to leave me either. Every day when we did our countdown to summer, I had kids that would "whine" or be upset because they didn't want to leave me. They asked if I could be their mom and so on. I actually had a little girl break down crying the morning of graduation day because she didn't want to leave kindergarten. Oh my word, it broke my heart. She was so serious too! :(  I guess a plus side to all of this is that I can leave my first year of teaching knowing that I made a great impact on my students and I did the best I could! That in itself is very rewarding.

Okay....rant ended, now onto graduation (what this post is all about!). It was a gorgeous day for an outdoor graduation...well, minus the wind! :) We had a picnic lunch in our courtyard outside and then we began our ceremony.
 Here is the graduation program I put together. We had each kiddo write what they wanted to be when they grow up on a white board and then took their picture. This was another big hit for the parents and I would have to agree, it turned out adorable don't you think?!
Our principal talked briefly to our kinders and then they sang a couple songs for their families. We found an adorable kindergarten graduation song on YouTube that is sung to the tune of Love & Marriage. It is too cute and the parents loved it!! I didn't get a video of it during the graduation, but our classes sang it the next day at our talent show and I got it recorded then. The music is a little loud, but you can kind of hear them! Check it out below!

Next, we handed out the certificates. Then we read our letter to the parents that was also included in the program. It was pretty difficult to keep it together, but teary-eyed me made it through! :) YAY!  My teaching partner found a freebie letter on TpT and then changed it a little to make it suitable for us. I thought it turned out great!
Now for the very special guest that we had NO IDEA about!! A little backstory...my teaching partner is a huge K-State fan and she does the KSU cheer with her kiddos before games. Well, one of her parents came up and asked her to lead the kids in the KSU cheer. As she was doing it, WILLIE the WILDCAT comes out and surprises her!! It was priceless and the kids were ecstatic! He proceeded to lead the kids in the "official" (because it's not official without Willie, right?!) K-S-U cheer. Then he took pictures with the kids and our classes, signed autographs on balls, hands, pictures, etc., and played with the kids on the playground! I bet he went home a little tired that day! :)
I might also add that I am a Kansas Jayhawk fan and Mrs. B made sure to point that out to Willie, so he came over and gave me a hug! Haha! I actually graduated from K-State, so even this Jayhawk fan thought it was pretty cool that Willie came to our graduation! What a memory for our kiddos! It was a special day for sure!
I must also share some of my special teacher gifts that I received at the end of school! I love the saying on the middle/bottom one. I think we often do forget how good of a job we really are doing, so it will be a great reminder next year! Such crafty parents/kids huh?! I love them all!
 Well, one year of teaching is in the books, so now it's time to enjoy summer. This oh, so bare classroom and I will meet again in August...or July! ;)

One more quick thing, I can't help but remember and think about ALL of the victims of the tornadoes that have been happening lately. One just hit down tonight near where I grew up and have family around. Thankfully everyone is okay, but I know it's not easy to go through something like that. My husband was in a tornado in 2008 where much of the town was ruined. Please continue to pray for safety and the rebuilding of Moore and everyone else affected by tornadoes. Here's one way I helped out! TpT is also selling bundles of teaching resources, so check them both out!

Have a great summer and stay safe!
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

End of the Year Memory Books!

Our last week of school was this past week and it was definitely bitter-sweet! I am going to miss these kids so much and I can't believe it's over, but I am ready for a nice summer break. I have been slacking with my blog posts lately because we have been so busy with end of the year happenings, but I have a couple posts planned to share what's been going on in our classroom. First up is our memory books that we completed the last week of school. They turned out absolutely adorable!! I had been taking pictures all year long and I had a parent that donated prints throughout the year too. It was fun to use those prints in the memory books so they had actual pictures of themselves doing some of the things they were writing about. See below for some of the pages that were in the books. 

We printed the cover page in color and the rest of the pages were in black and white so they could color them how they wanted to. 
I loved how the kids cut their pictures out! They looked so cute! :)
I took a picture with each of the kids for them to put in their book. I also had them take a picture with our para who is leaving after this year. 
I liked this memory too! It says, "This day was awesome. We got to see the queen." Read about that day here.

Then it was time to have everyone sign our memory books. I had them choose their favorite color crayon and stand behind their chair with their book open to the "My Class" page. They signed their own book and then I would say "rotate" and they would go to the next book and sign it. We continued doing this until the kids signed each book. 

Didn't they turn out adorable?! I was so happy with them! Each kiddo got a silly class picture and a nice class picture to paste on their class page. 

They had so much fun filling out their book and cutting out pictures from the year. I think the actual pictures that were taken during the year made these books even more special. This will be a book that their parents will probably keep forever and these kids will look back at these books years down the road! That is pretty cool to think about. In fact, as my husband was packing things up for our big move, he found some journals he wrote from 1st grade! It was so much fun to read them and see what was important to him back then. These books will be just that! :)

If you'd like to check out the pages included in this memory book or you would like to purchase it, check out my TpT store by clicking on the picture below. I know your kids will enjoy these as much as mine did and they are personalized for grades K-2, but generalized to be used at all grade levels. I also included the book in color and in black & white! I will be updating the years for next year too! :) 

Check back this week for a post about our kindergarten graduation! We had a very special and exciting guest appearance at our graduation that you won't want to miss! It was quite the special day! :)

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Holy Pencil Sharpener!!

Have you been hearing all about the "quietest pencil sharpener ever" that all the teachers in blog world are craving about?! Well, I have and I had to find out what all the fuss was about!

I must say, I was a little skeptical because I loved the pencil sharpener our PTO bought for our classrooms last year. It's powerful, electric, and can take different sizes of pencils. To my surprise, this quiet pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies was very impressive!!
I now know these other teachers/bloggers weren't joking when they blogged about how awesome it is! It's extremely quiet and fast! I had to take the pencil out just to check and see if it was actually working. Haha! These are the three pencils I tried it on first. Two very dull pencils and one brand new pencil.
This sharpener even holds the pencil in securely so you don't have to!
Look at these SHARP pencils! I should've taken a picture comparing these pencils to my pencils that were sharpened by my electric sharpener. I compared them and the electric sharpened pencils don't even compare! There is so much lead with these pencils and it's strong too!
Oh, and you know that loud, grinding sound you typically hear when you sharpen a brand new pencil? Yeah, you don't hear that at all when you use this sharpener! It's so smooth! Impressive right?! Don't believe me or need to see it for yourself?! Go now to Classroom Friendly Supplies and order one for yourself. Trust me, you won't be disappointed! :)
If it weren't for me taking the picture, I would definitely give this pencil sharpener TWO thumbs up! I'm feeling pretty silly for being so skeptical before I tried it! Don't let that be you! ;)

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers and mother figures out there! I was lucky enough to spend some time with my mom and my mother-in-law today. My mom is such a caring and loving mom and I love her so much. This picture was taken a few years ago. :)

I promised I would share some of the writing found in our mother's day books we did last week because they are so adorable. Well, wait no longer, here they are! :) I can't wait to hear from my kids tomorrow to see what their moms said. They all did a super job on their books, but here is a peek at some of them! 

"My mom's favorite thing to do is spend time with me." "If my mom could take a day off, she would clean the house and snuggle under the covers."
"I know my mom loves me because I have curly hair." :) 
"Before she was a mom, she liked to play." "The gift my mom deserves for mother's day is running shoes." 
"My mom's favorite thing to do is sleep." "If my mom could take a day off, she would go shopping."
"I know my mom loves me because I love her." 
"Before she was a mom, she liked to hang out by herself." "The gift my mom deserves for mother's day is a rose made out of paper." 
"My mom's favorite thing to do is spend time with me." "If my mom could take a day off, she would clean the house." 
"I know my mom loves me because I am a big boy." 
"I know my mom loves me because she thinks that I am sweet."
"Before she was a mom, she liked to be a swim coach." "The gift my mom deserves for mother's day is a rainbow diamond." 
"My mom's favorite thing to do is snuggle with me and have movie nights with me." "If my mom could take a day off, she would get ice cream and watch a movie." 
This one cracked me up so much! Before we went to write each day, we would talk with a partner about our idea and then share out some ideas. This little guy shared this with the class and of course I had to ask why. 
"The gift my mom deserves for mother's day is a toilet."

Was the toilet broken? Nope! He told me their toilet just stinks really bad! Haha! I love these kids! I wonder what his mom had to say about this page! ;)

This little booklet for mother's day can be found on my TpT store if you'd like to do this with your kids.  What did you do with your kids for mother's day?

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Five for Friday (Teacher Appreciation Week Style!)

Wow, this has been such a great week! It was busy so I have lots to share, but it also went by so fast! I will try to sum everything up the best that I can by linking up with Doodle Bugs again. :)

1. On Saturday, my husband and I went to a wedding reception for a dear friend. They got married in Mexico in January, so they had a reception close to Cinco de Mayo! How fitting right?! I actually student taught under both of these ladies (bride in the middle) and I'm lucky to have them both as friends now. 

2. I came to school on Monday to an adorable note (or should I say notes) on my classroom door for teacher appreciation week from all of my kiddos! It was so fun to read all of their notes. :)

3. I must say I feel very blessed to be in a school and community that really cares about their teachers. Our school had a theme for each day this week and the kids brought in things for us each day. I felt so loved and appreciated and it was wonderful! Definitely a great feeling! The days went like this...

Monday: Students wrote notes for their teachers.

Tuesday: Bring your teacher some flowers.

We got these adorable key chains from our principal on this day too! It says "Our Staff Is "Paw"some!" since we are the Lincoln Lions! Too cute! :)

Wednesday: Bring your teacher some chocolate.

I had to share some with the kids too because there was a lot of chocolate!! It's dangerous for me to have that much chocolate! ;)
Thursday: Bring your teacher a smile.
We took some class pictures on this day too! I sure do love these kiddos!
Friday: Bring your teacher a snack.
The popcorn came from the school. I actually helped order these because I used to work at this popcorn place called Schlaegel's Popcorn! My brother is a partner in the business now and it's also a tax company, so once we get our taxes done we get a free bag of popcorn. Score! Aren't these custom labels adorable?! Our secretary created them! Plus, the popcorn is quite delicious too, I might add! ;)

4. Thursday I had my mentor celebration where we shared a presentation about our first year of teaching. I must say, I'm glad I have "graduated" from my first year of teaching! I'd say it's time to celebrate! :) We also had our Schools in Review that evening which is basically an open house for parents and the community to come in our school and see what we've been learning. This year we had a "Solve the Mystery" night to get the kids to bring their parents back in. We had a case of the missing Lincoln Lion and one of the teachers was guilty! The kids had to do different experiments in each of the classrooms to solve the mystery and find out who it was. It was a fun little idea and the kids enjoyed finding out who "took" the lion. 

5. Today was crazy to say the least! I was supposed to have a sub so I could do my quarterly assessments, but the sub cancelled this morning and no one picked it up. My amazing para offered to do most of the teaching while I sat in the back of the room and pulled kids to assess. I think I'd be lost if it weren't for his help this year! He is the absolute best para I could've asked for and I'm so sad because he is leaving after this year. He will be a tough one to replace for sure! Luckily I am almost done with assessments even with the little hiccup that happened today. I am so excited and proud of how far these kids have come even within the last quarter. It is amazing! They are definitely ready for first grade, but I'm not so sure I'm ready to leave them yet! :(  We've had a krazy year with a wild bunch of kiddos, but they are MY krazy, wild bunch of kiddos and I've become so attached to them! I think this picture pretty much sums up our krazy, awesome class perfectly! :)

I also did a little shopping of my own this week on TpT with the big sale and all! You can show us what you bought by clicking the picture below and linking up!

I'm super excited about these two writing resources that I got. Writing is definitely an area that I need to improve in and get more ideas/resources for, so these will be perfect for next year!
Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills' Writing Through the Year Bundle!
Susan Moran's Writing Through the Seasons All Year Long Bundle!
Thanks to all who bought something from my store during the sale too! I really appreciate it and don't forget to leave feedback so you can get your points! :)

Check back on Sunday for the adorable Mother's Day writing that we did this week. Our moms are going to LOVE them because they are too cute! You won't want to miss it! :)

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