5 Magical Organizational Ideas

There are so many amazing organizational ideas on Pinterest.  Here are a few revolutionary ideas that I have found on Pinterest lately.

1. An amazing way to organize pocket charts.  She used binder rings to attach charts to plastic hangers by topic.  Love!
Source: flickr.com via Mary on Pinterest

2.  This one uses shower curtain rings, sheet protectors and a curtain rod to organize magazines.  My kids would love to read something that was organized in such a beautiful way.

3.  Knife racks to display matchbox cars in the block area.  Genius!

4.  Love. This. Writing. Center.  So organized, so beautiful.  I love writing centers that draw you in like this!

5.  Last but not least, how to organize the events that happen in your year.  What an amazing way to personalize the classroom and teach sequencing all at once.


Okay... so I feel like the world's biggest blogging slacker.  I have not written a blog post in what seems like eleventy billion days!  To jump back on the blogging train, I thought I would share a few photos to let you know what I have been up to that is keeping me so busy :) 

I graduated with my master's degree in early childhood education last Sunday.  YAY!!!!  Talk about lifting a huge weight off of my shoulders.  No more going to class, discussion board posts, staying up until all hours of the morning writing a paper or cramming for a test.  Let me tell you, this girl could not be any happier!

Also, I threw a bridal shower for my best friend in the whole wide world, Kendra.  It was SO much work and SO much fun.  I was so happy with the way it turned out.  They are getting hitched right on the ocean in Maine (our home state) this summer, so we ran with the nautical theme.  Kendra and I are both mildly obsessed with lobsters, so there were plenty of lobsters thrown in there too!

Personalized water bottles... quite possibly my new favorite party idea (and super easy, too!).

I am kind of obsessed with this banner!  I found a similar one on pinterest, emailed the blogger who created one and she made one especially for me!

Three housemates from college: Holly, Kendra & I

And here are a few photos of what we have been doing in school this week:

Painting with vegetables.  We are learning about "Things that Grow" and reading The Ugly Vegetables, so this was a perfect (and easy) art center.  I wish I had taken a picture before they got their little hands all over the paint and vegetables.  I literally just saved scraps of the stir fry that I had cooked the night before: carrots, a red pepper, broccoli, scallions, celery and a few other veggies.  We also threw in a pear that someone had brought for lunch and didn't eat.  I folded up a few paper towels and coated them with tempera paint (not too much!).  The kids then used them like ink pads, dipping them into the paint and stamping them onto the paper.  They loved it (at least until the scallion and pepper started to get stinky), and I loved how easy it was.

Pears and broccoli, mostly

 Flowers created with pears and broccoli.  The kids loved how the broccoli made swishy marks on the paper.  Also, did you notice that she stuck little seeds from the red peppers in the middle?

A red pepper and scallion polka dots, with a few celery swirls.
We also got a Donor's Choose project called "Kindergarten Architects want to Build!" funded, and all kinds of great materials came.  So exciting!

This little friend started writing words with Zoobs.  So creative!  He has done it before with other math manipulatives like these:

This is such a fun way to combine math, fine motor and literacy!

Mother's Day Art

On Monday my amazing para and I both had a few cute Mother's Day project ideas to do throughout the week.  Unfortunately, I found out on Monday morning that she had to be yanked to cover another classroom (grrrrr!).  I had to find the most efficient way to crank out the majority of both of my projects, a Handprint Poem and a Handprint Bouquet, in one morrning.  About an hour to be exact.  After a little experimenting, I found the quickest and most efficient way that worked for me.

To do both projects you will need five pastel shades of paint.  I used purple, pink, blue, yellow and green.  You will need enough poem sheets for each student (see HERE for yours) and enough sheets of white art paper for each student.  I worked with groups of four at a time.  All paint colors were mixed from basic Tempera colors.

Here's how it works:

 1.  Have children write their name and the year on the poem paper.  Have them also write their name on the bottom of the white art paper.

2.  Paint the right hand purple.  Help the child press their hand down on the poem paper, and put it to the side.  Set the poem paper aside.  Later you will mount it on coordinating construction paper.  Repaint the hand and help them to make a handprint on the upper left side of the art paper, a little more than an inch from the top.  Have child wash their hand, or wipe with a baby wipe.

 3.  When the hand is clean, paint yellow on the left hand and blue on the right.  Have the child press down first with yellow on the right hand side of the paper, about an inch from the bottom.  Have the child press the blue hand down below and in between the first two flowers.  Have the child wash their hands (I always love to have them rub their hands together to watch them turn green, too!).  Allow the paint to dry a bit while you repeat this process with another group.

 4.  Paint either hand pink, and press down in the very top center of the paper.  Wash hands again! (This step could even be done on another day).

Ta-da!  A pretty easy and VERY cute Mother's Day project.  I cranked out 22 of these in a little over an hour (not including the stems and bows), so if you are looking for a last minute project this might just be the one for you.

*Side note:  I keep forgetting to take pictures of the finished poems.  They are super cute.  One of these days I will remember :)

Sneak Peek

Just a quick peek at one of the activities we did for Mother's Day.  It's not the best picture... sorry!  When the little handprints were dry we mounted them on purple construction paper.  Very cute!  You can get your copy {HERE}.  I didn't make this, but I can't for the life of me figure out who did.  Please tell me if you know so I can give credit!  I promise to show you the other VERY cute project we did tomorrow.

Also, ALL of my products are only on sale for another three hours, so head on over and check them out {HERE}.  Thanks!

Teacher Appreciation SALE!

Today through Tuesday, EVERYTHING in my little store is on sale for 20% off.  If you enter the code TAD12, you will receive an extra 10% off!  

You might want to check out:

And two that are fantastic for this time of year are....

Vegetable memory
Vegetable bingo with six gameboards
Vegetable graphing
What is a Vegetable? emergent reader

Seed tracking journal
Plant dictionary
Plant labeling activity
Dolch sight word cards
Emergent Reader
Writing prompts
Vowel word family practice
T charts
Tree maps
Math journal prompts
Numeral recognition
Scissor skills
and much, much more!

The Mother's Day Roundup

I have been searching for something new and sweet to do for Mother's Day this year.  HERE is what we did last year:

1.  A handprint poem from {HERE}

2.  Super sweet purse books

3.  Ms. C did a really sweet teacup card complete with a little teabag

And here are my favorite ideas this year:
                                          Source: thedailycraziness.blogspot.com via Mary on Pinterest

Gorgeous flowerpots.  I would never have the time or funds for this one, but I still love love love it!

                                          Source: thetrendytreehouse.blogspot.com via Mary on Pinterest

Handprint bouquet... easy and sweet!

                                          Source: supersaturdayldscrafts.blogspot.com via Mary on Pinterest

LOVE this tiled handprint

                                          Source: acupcakefortheteacher.blogspot.com via Mary on Pinterest

Ice cream cone with adjective sprinkles.  Cute, cute, cute!

                                             Source: google.com via Mary on Pinterest

Handprint Garden

Our Reflections, A Great Book, and a Freebie!

We are learning about Shadows and Reflections, which is one of my favorite units to teach.  I pretty much love anything that integrates a fun science concept into all of our centers.  My little ones made shadow puppets, went on shadow hunts outside and built cities in the block area, shining the overhead projector onto them to make shadows.  Love it!

One of my favorite books to read towards the end of the unit is Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes.  It's about a poor little kitten who thinks that the full moon is a bowl of milk.  She sees the moon's reflection in a pond and jumps in, thinking that she's about to land in a big bowl of milk.  The illustrations are gorgeous... it's a Caldecott winner, and the kids love the funny story line.  I whipped up a few sweet worksheets and was blown away by the quality of their work (remember, they are 4 and 5!).
 When the cat licked the bug.

 When the cat saw the moon in the pond.

Isn't it sweet?  Who knew that they would love using black and white so much!  Here are your copies.  The first page is identifying the favorite part of the story, and the second is a text-to-self connection.  Enjoy!

Click {HERE} for your freebie!