Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Few of MY Favorite Things!

As the year has come to a close, I wanted to share a few of the things that made kindergarten a little easier and/or a little more FUN!  We had such a blast this year - I can honestly say that I had the perfect class.  I was so blessed with a supportive and trusting group of parents.  Being the "new girl" at school, I was prepared for lots of parents to show concern with my abilities to be a good teacher for their children.  I was honestly ready for it.  Not in a defensive was simply something I expected.  I was blown away by how much the parents of my students trusted me.  I work so hard to find fun and interactive lessons as well as fun take-home projects.  It was a blessing to find that they saw this and appreciated it.  I only hope that my next batch of kinders proves to be as supportive and loving.  I hope that all the parents of all of my students - past, present and future - will see and feel how much I love each and every one of my students and will see that I want to give them the best education possible.

ANYWAY!  :o)  Here are some recent finds at the Dollar Tree (my favorite discount store!)  Both of these are "window clings."  I bought them thinking we could use them for decorations in our windows, but guess what??  They stick to the white board!!!  I can use them as instructional aids!  Yes!!!!

Here are clocks that have detached hands.  All you do is stick the clock on the whiteboard and have the students come up and change the hands to show the time you tell them!  OR they could stick the hands up and then write the time under the clocks.  OR the clocks could later be used in the Math Center on the small white boards we have!  YES!!!  :o)

Next are some similar Window for shapes and one for numbers.  Again, PERFECT for the beginning of the year and use for math lessons!  YESSS!!  :o)

I'm sure that most teachers have already found these and will look at this and say, Duh Brenna, but I discovered the wonderful world of Glue Dots this year.  All of that wasted time spent in years past breaking out the hot glue gun.  Don't get me wrong, I love my glue gun - I actually have about 4 of them in my classroom art closet.  But the thing about glue guns is that the students don't have ownership over the projects we do with glue guns.  They are simply too little to use a glue gun.  It take the fun out of all of those art projects.  But not when you use Glue Dots!  PS: I used them on all of our Googlie Eyes and saved money because I didn't have to buy the kind with the sticky-back.  YESSS!!  :o)

Flair Pens.  Enough said.


I've blogged about these books before, and the first helped me to take my centers to the next level.  I started with it last year, and this year I adapted the ideas for kindergarten.  I also love my Kindergarten in Photographs.  

Outside my classroom are arch-ways that were pretty blah-looking and not fun.  I had the idea to use Command hooks to string lines across the arches.  Then I used clothespins to hang up student work.  This was the perfect place to display all of our papers and great work to the rest of the world!  I used an idea from Kindergarten in Photographs to spruce up our clothespin hangers.  We took a picture of each student on the first day of school.  We cut out each face and glued the pictures to sturdy cardstock and laminated them.  Then I hot glued each picture to a clothespin.  It received many compliments, and some of the other teachers on my side of the hall did the same thing with the clotheslines.

"Once you go Mac, you don't go back." 

I was blessed with a new laptop this year.  My husband and I bought our first Macbook Pro last year.  It's true - "Once you go Mac, you don't go back."  We have forever traded our PC's for Mac.  I made countless projects and printables with such ease this year!  I also used iMovie and iDVD to create our end-of-the-year slideshow.  I am typing as we speak on my Macbook the school gave me.  LOVE!  :o)

Dr. Jean, oh how I love thee!

Dr. Jean is where my kindergarten obsession began.  If you have not heard of or used her ideas in your classroom yet, Shame On You!  You are missing a world of creativity and FUN!  I went to her workshop Camp Kindergarten 2 summers ago and was able to use almost all of her ideas in my first grade classroom.  My kinders this year LOVED all of the activities we did together.  Her CD "Silly Songs" was our favorite.  Another favorite was her book of fingerplays that you can download on her website  PLEASE promise to check it out.  Please!  :o)

Mrs. Jump has been an inspiration to me from day one of kindergarten.  I found her original website last summer and was able to adapt many of her first grade art projects to our kinder classroom.  I discovered her blog as well and have purchased many of her TpT units.  We LOVE Mrs. Jump.  She is a true inspiration!  (She also inspired this "favorite things" post)  :o)  Thanks Mrs. Jump!


Then there is Stella and Dot jewelry.  The earrings in the picture were my birthday present from my handsome.  I babysit every Thursday night for the most adorable, spunky, beautiful red-headed little girls ever!  Their mom just recently became a Stella and Dot consultant.  I love all of their pieces, and get to see all of the latest products every Thursday...I'm currently saving for some more.  Find a consultant in your area and check it out!  :o)

And last, but never least, my handsome!  He is truly a rock for me.  He is a teacher too, so he knows how to talk about school with me.  Most men who are married to teachers think that we want advice when we share how our day went.  But my handsome knows that most of the time I just need to get something off of my chest and let it out!  We have the most amazing form of communication, and I cannot wait to grow old with him and hopefully watch our family grow in the future. Last summer we were married (our one-year anniversary is NEXT SUNDAY!!).  We spent the entire summer "honeymooning" because we were married the weekend after school let out.  We came back from our honeymoon and still had 2 months with no work!  It was fabulous and time we definitely needed.  This year we have another whole summer to spend together and I am SO excited to share it with him!

PS: I just realized that I'm wearing my Stella and Dot earrings in this picture!  :o)
PPS: I left out a favorite thing: Ross (the discount department store).  It's where I bought that shirt that I'm wearing in the picture.  It was under $10.  Pretty much awesome. at peace, and all will be well...

1 comment:

  1. Girl, you are too sweet! Thank you so much for including me in your post! I will add your blog to my sidebar. :) I have the exact same pair of Stella &Dot earrings. LOVE them! Have a great Summer!
    P.S. I have never tried glue dots. I can't wait to check them out. :)