Friday, August 15, 2014

HopStop10 photo Slide12_zps18e28e04.png

Hi friends!! :) Thanks for participating in our little blog hop!! :) You're at Stop 10 and I can't wait for you to see what I have for you! :)

My most wishlisted item is my Rhyming Unit Mega Bundle! It has 17 different activities to help your students hone their rhyming and word family skills. You can click the picture to check it out on TPT! :) 

You can grab a FREE preview of the pack by clicking the picture above and downloading the preview!! 

Do you want to win this product and tons of others?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now...let's keep going! :) Hop over to Cheryl's amazing blog over at Crayons and Curls! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Transitional Chants and Songs

Oh my, where did June go?!? It's about time to start thinking about the beginning of the school year... at least it is if you work in my school district. We start back to school in exactly on month and I'm currently at the "classroom management" planning stage. I decided that I should focus on some transitional songs as my kiddos tend to respond to singing the most.
Our "To the Carpet" song is one of my favorites as it gets their attention quickly and requires them to repeat each line as they are quickly finishing what they are doing and heading to the carpet for the next activity. When I first start using the song, I tell the children that the goal is to have everyone to the carpet and in their seats before they repeat the last line in the song.

"Open, Shut Them" is one of those classic attention getting transition songs that are great if you are waiting for all the children to focus. Typically I will use this one if we are starting an art or science activity where they are all seated at the table with the materials in front of them but have not received instructions yet.

The "Thank You" song is one that one of my students actually taught me. We sing it before lunch and snack as a way to make sure all our friends are at the table and ready to eat.
I know I will use these each and every day in my classroom and I hope you can get some use out of them too. They will definitely help my school year go smoother.
 I have also teamed up with Educents with some instant downloads for you! Loaded with great products to work with your kids the years before kindergarten!

My products included will surely be loved by your students!

My "What's Magnetic" pack includes 4 fun activities to introduce students to magnets and what type of items are magnetic. Activities include: magnetic/not magnetic sort, magnetic write the room activity, Is It Magnetic activity with prediction and outcome, and magnet comparison activity (comparing the strengths of various magnets).

My "A to Z Alphabet Posters and Booklet Set" is great for students learning the alphabet. It includes a printable poster for each letter of the alphabet. These posters are perfect for displaying on a wall or even making into a book for introducing each letter or to place in your class library. The set also includes a printable booklet that can be reproduced for each student to use as they learn their alphabet (printing instructions are also included).

These two products are just a few of the great products included in the Preschool Curriculum pack over at Educents.

For a limited time the pack is $9.99 from Educents which is about 64% off!  Six products for early literacy, math, and science with over 250 pages of materials ready for you to use!


You can also take peek at some of the other products included in the bundle at any of the links below!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chores, Chores, Chores

In our home, (like many others I'm sure) we have difficulties getting our girls to consistently do their chores. We've tried bribery. We've tried allowances. We've even tried work contracts (which actually work really well but are only good for a short term).
Our end goal was to get our older daughter to form a chore routine and we decided to go with the classic chore chart (I had to, of course, use some cute fonts and clipart to make it cute!).
Now, a chore chart is not a new idea by any means and, the spin we put on it is probably not new either.
We had our daughter help us think of chores that she could do on her own or learn pretty quickly. We had her choose 10 chores that needed to be done on a daily basis. This is what we came up with...

We had her start out with really fast simple chores that would help us out a bit but also wouldn't take her 20 minutes for each one. We were hoping to help build her confidence and her sense of responsibility rather than having her clean the whole house on a daily basis.
The nice thing is that we can go in and change the chores to suit her (and our) needs. For example, the first time we did the chart, we had homework as one of her chores. Now that we're on summer break, homework is no longer applicable. So we were able to not only take that out and substitute it for something else, but we could also make the chores a bit more challenging.
We also learned from our mistakes the first time around. The original chore chart had the chores down the left and days across the top. Sounds simple enough but, for a 7-year old, having to follow the chores across and fill in under the right day (Friday for example), she would sometimes fill in the wrong day and chaos would ensue. So, the second time around, we put the chores in gray so we could still read them but it was still easy enough for her to check off the chores when she was done with them.
Now, once the chore chart was printed, we simply put it in a cheap $1 frame since the glass of the frame acts as a dry erase board. Once the week is up, we pay her said allowance, erase the chart, and start all over again on Saturday.
"But what happens if she doesn't do all her chores?" Well, I'm glad you asked! When making the chore chart, we explained the basic idea of how to use it and promised that, if she did all of her chores each day, she would earn $5 at the end of the day on Friday. However, for every chore she didn't do, she lost 10¢. Now, like I said before, she has 10 chores each day for 7 days. A little simple math tells us that that makes $7, not $5. That's part of the deal that we made very clear to her. If she did all the chores, she got $5. But, if she did no chores, she would OWE US $2. So not only would she lose the $5, but she would also be in the red to make up for the other chores she didn't do.
Finally, as an added bonus, we put a "bonus chore" section on the bottom. These are the chores that we know she is fully capable of doing but they take longer and really only need to be done once a week. This way, if she wanted to earn a little extra money and she didn't have anything else to do, she could do the bonus chores and earn an extra dollar for each one.
Does the chore chart work? So far, she has yet to ever owe us money for doing too few chores. However, she also has yet to make $5 or more in any given week. She hasn't gotten to the point where she does all her chores every day but, the fact that she will do chores with little to no argument is  blessing in itself!
Want to try the chore chart yourself? Just click the picture below to find an editable version of the chart we used!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Sale, A Hop, and A FREEBIE!!

I am so excited for this!! I'm participating in my first Facebook hop starting today! We're doing what we call a "Preview Hop" where each of us have taken a portion of a paid item and made it a fan-only freebie. Think of it kind of as a Black Friday preview only you don't have to get up at 3AM to shop the sale!! There are 28 of us in all and you can start out by clicking over to my FB page and checking out the Facebook Hop tab that looks like this:

Also, if you haven't already heard, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a HUGE sale at the end of this week (Thursday and Friday) where lots of stores will be on sale and you can use the TpT code (TPT3) to take an additional 10% off. You'll be able to take a total of 28% off at a lot of stores (including mine)!!
So start building that wishlist and, while you wait, enjoy the hop by clicking the image below:
Happy shopping!!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

What should my child know to go to Kindergarten?

This is the time of year where the parents of my Pre-K kiddos start asking me if I think their kiddo will be prepared for Kinder and, if not, what do they need to work on and, 9 times out of 10, my answer is always the same... INDEPENDENCE!

I always seems like a difficult thing to tell parents to work on. "Let your child do more things on their own so it boosts their self-esteem and they are able to take on more challenges without being discouraged."
I see it a lot at conference time. Parents want to know if their child will be academically ready for Kinder when, in all actuality, their child being independent and able to work on their own is just as, if not more, important than some of the academic skills that they may have been working on at home.
So when parents come up to me and say "What do I need to work on with my child so they will be ready for Kindergarten?" I almost always give them one of the following suggestions:
~Give them some simple chores to do at home without being supervised so they build a sense of responsibility
~Let them help you pick food to put in their lunch box to encourage good choices
~Take them to the park without setting up a playdate so they can work on making friends with new children
~ Help to make their at-home space more child-friendly in terms of organization to encourage them to keep it tidy
~Set up a rewards system to encourage them to make good choices without being reminded
~Take them to a class or story time where they are required to sit quietly and listen to a book or instructions without you sitting right next to them to keep them focused

To help with fostering independence and growing self-esteem, I usually read this book to my kiddos.

It's all about being brave and facing challenges (like the first day of school) on your own!
Need more wonderful book ideas and ways to get your kiddo ready to move up to the next grade level? Check out the awesome linky party over at Smedley's Smorgasboard:
And take a look at this great pack of preschool/Pre-K/Kinder activities that your child can do at home!
Lots of great activities for only $29.99. Plus, if you enter the code SALE10, you save 10% off site-wide for this weekend only!

Assessments, assessments, and a Freebie!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for their Five for Friday party! (yes, I know, it's Saturday but, better late than never, right?)

There was just so much going on this week that I thought it would be easier to share using this amazing linky party! So, here we go!

1. My kiddos are learning about bug nursery rhymes this week (specifically spiders) so I made up a little sight word game for them! I just used some leaf clipart and added sight words to them to make word cards then cut out a little spider to hide behind them. The kiddos took turns coming up, pointing to a word they knew, reading it, and then checking behind to see if they found the spider!

2. I also wrote the Little Miss Muffet rhyme on the board for us to discuss. We are talking about rhyming (obviously), patterns, prepositional words, writing sentences with uppercase letters/word spaces/punctuation, and, of course, sight words so we used different colored markers to kind of label our poem. We started by finding the rhyming words and underlining them which helped us label the AABCCB pattern of the poem. We then circled the prepositional words in blue and drew red rectangles around the sight words we have learned so far. We then talked about when to use an uppercase letter and circled them in green. Finally, we finished up by talking about periods and exclamation points, when to use them, and reminded ourselves to use a finger space between words so our writing doesn't look like one big long word.

3. This week has been all about assessments. (yep, it's that time of year) So, to make my assessments a little easier (and much more motivating for my kiddos!) I made up a little skills tracking set. It's designed to assess early skills like handwriting, letter and number recognition, phonetic reading, and even behavior!!

I actually laminated the assessment pages and bound them into a book so I can reuse them over and over!

Plus, I put the record sheet inside the front cover to make it easier to record when one of the kiddos makes it into a "club".

Once a kiddo passes an assessment, they get their name on a little tag that goes up under the club poster for all to see! They get so proud!!

Plus, for each club they get into, they get a little membership card that they get to keep with their name and the date they made it in!! Makes for GREAT motivation to keep working!
4. This is an example of the writing assessment that I use for the Writing Rockstars club. I simply have them write each uppercase letter, lowercase letter, and single digit number in the blanks and, when they are able to do so legibly, they are in! Although I have this one laminated and in my assessment booklet, I still copy it off for each child. Having it in the book just helps me remember where it is ;)

5. If you want to check out this assessment set for yourself, you can find it in my store or you can check out the Educents bundle that it's in right now with 27 other amazing products!!
My product included will surely be loved by your students!
For a limited time it is $29.99 from Educents which is over 71% off! It also includes lots of other great products so there is sure to  be things you love! (They even have $10 off for first time customers… so it can be even cheaper if you have never bought anything from Educents!)


Sunday, January 19, 2014

A New Name, a New Design, and a Giveaway!

Yep, if you haven't noticed, I got a new blog design (from the AMAZING Barbara at Ruby Slippers Blog Design) a few days ago and have changed up my name from Random Craftiness to Kindergarten Craftiness. To celebrate these changes, I thought I would throw a little giveaway with some help from some of my incredible friends!
The giveaway will run until midnight on Friday, January 24 and I will announce the winner Saturday morning. Be sure to check out all the great prizes below!!
Any item from my store.
A t-shirt from Teacher's Closet!
Winner's Choice from Em Hutchison!
Winner's Choice from Sticky Notes and Glitter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway