Hoppy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone!  I hope you are all spending time with loved ones and enjoying your day.  

I am having a flash giveaway over on my Facebook page.  It ends tomorrow, so hop on over and check it out {HERE}!

Awesome April Words

I am so excited about my new April Word Cards and Word Walls unit.  What is a word cards and word walls unit, you ask?  It is 36 pages of resources to help teach seasonal vocabulary to your students.  This products improve reading skills while inspiring great writing.
All materials are in both English and Spanish.

 Let me break it down for you...
Just cut them up, laminate if you want to and you're all done!  I use these on my word wall, put them on rings for use in the writing center, and with dry erase boards or magnet letters for making words.

I stick these back to back in an acrylic frame and put it on my writing table.  Kids love to use these words when writing.  I love that their writing is much richer and more detailed when they are using the mini word walls!  You could also pop them in a binder sleeve as a word mat, or hang them on the wall.

The bubble map is for vocabulary development, prewriting or brainstorming.  Emergent writers could use invented spelling or draw pictures.
The ABC order recording sheet can be used with the word cards to practice alphabetical order.  I love this one because it can so easily be modified to meet the needs of your students.

This writing prompt is great for use with the word cards and mini word walls.  I use it in my writing center or as homework.
Children use the min word walls or word cards to fill out the missing word sheet.  This is always an absolute favorite in my classroom!

 Describe It is a brand spanking new activity to practice using adjectives.  Children will use describing words to tell all about this adorable rabbit!

For Making Words, students cut up the word April, then change and rearrange the letters to create new words.  This is a great word work center!  An answer key is included.

This unit is $4.00,  but will be on sale for one week only at 25% off (or $3).

You can check it out {HERE}

Little White Rabbit {Book Review and Craftivity}

I was looking for a perfect Easter but not "too Eastery" craft because I am not technically supposed to go crazy for holidays (but I LOVEEE them, so I get creative!).  I found this ADORABLE one from A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Instead of writing about the Easter Bunny, I decided to do do a response to literature to my new favorite Kevin Henkes book.  Each student picked their favorite part of the story, illustrated it and used invented spelling to describe it.  I am head over heels for how these came out!

And my favorites...

I also found this awesome video of Kevin Henkes creating this book.  How precious are his beautiful illustrations?  My kids were absolutely in love with this book... I can't wait to show them this clip of a "real" author-illustrator at work!

Documentation Boards

Do you document?

I had an amazing Reggio Emilia inspired undergraduate experience, and was consistently taught about the importance of documentation.  Honestly, this has been something that has been put on the back burner thanks to  mandated curriculum, assessments, progress reports and all that jazz.  In the last month or so I have been making an effort to document more often.  I have noticed that my students are SO engaged when reflecting on their own learning!  It may not be the cutest or fanciest bulletin board around, but I am so proud that my students created it to reflect what they are really learning each day.

This documentation panel is titled "How to Learn about Colors."

Documentation is the process of gathering evidence and artifacts of what happens in the classroom. Documentation is not only the process of gathering evidence and artifacts, but also a physical collection of evidence and artifacts, the reflection of that collection, or part of it, in a way that makes children’s learning visible to the children, to the teachers, to the other adults including families and visitors. --Carlina Rinaldi (1994) 

Do a science experiment
Here is a close up of what this can look like.  Here I have an artifact from a color mixing experiment we did {see here}, a student drawing of the experiment, and a photo of two children participating in the experiment.

Make colored play dough
Here is another student drawing, a photograph of a student mixing colors into white play dough {see here} and a photo of two children using the play dough after they colored it.

Straw paint to mix colors
Here is a straw painting that a child did, and his drawing of the straw painting process {see here}.

Mix colors in the water table
A student drawing and a photograph of the color mixing activity {see here}.

Read and write about color
A student drawing (the book the person is holding says "the colors"... cute!) and the world's most precious photograph of students reading color books with their arms around one another.

The process of creating this board was not hard!  I collected artifacts (photographs and student work) while we learned about colors.  I chose five students to work in a group with me to create the documentation panel.  We had a discussion about all of the different color activities we did.  Each child chose one activity to write about and illustrate.  This was an amazing way to integrate writing.  I have never seen this particular group of kids SO engaged in writing!  They loved looking at what one another was doing, then sharing their work with the class.  It is now hanging front and center, and my little ones couldn't be prouder.  It doesn't hurt that it also shows the parents and administrators all of the different ways we are learning, too!

Dog's Colorful Day {Book Review}

Have you seen this book?  I am head over heels for it's fun, bright pictures and repetitive text.  My kids are in love with the quirky storyline and all of the funny things that happen to Dog.  This book combines learning about colors with counting.  

Dog starts out with one black spot on his left ear.  At breakfast, a drop of red jam lands on his back, SPLAT!  Now Dog has two spots.  He continues getting into sticky situations like rolling in green grass, being pet by a boy with brown chocolatey hands and dipping his tail in a bucket of blue paint.  By the end of the book, Dog has 10 spots and is a total mess.  

This book is fantastic for retelling!  My kids love telling the story of how Dog got all of his spots.  It would also be fantastic for a minilesson about color words, counting, using figurative language in writing, or story sequencing.

My amazing para did a directed art lesson with the kids, retelling the story as they drew.  I think they came out super precious!  Of course, there is also common core alignment :)

Objective and Common Core Standards

We also painted Dog at the easel. 
I put out one cup of black paint with a skinny brush at each easel, plus a variety of Do-A-Dot markers.  I was so impressed by what they came up with, and in love with the fact that it was so much less messy than usual!
We made an emergent reader from Making Learning Fun


I also made a fine motor game by printing and laminating the dog below (not the cards).  I found pom poms that correspond to the ten colors in the book, along with some fine motor tweezers.  Children retold the story by picking up pom poms with the tweezers and placing pom poms on the dog.  This was great for fine motor, oral language and was just plain fun!  I will try to take a picture of it next week.


There are so many great ideas for this book {HERE}... I would definitely suggest checking it out!

Five for Fraturday


1.  My BFF at work had a baby on Monday!  I am so flipping excited.  Wish I could post pictures because she is the most gorgeous little girl EVER, but I don't dare do it without asking :)  In other news, it stinks not having your go-to person at school!  I keep finding myself walking toward her classroom out of habit and then reminding myself that she's not there haha.
2.  I reorganized my writing shelf and am so in love with it's new, simple self.  I took this picture from kid height... I will have to add some better photos later!  On the top left part of the shelf are my homemade writing cups.  These hold thick and thin markers, pencils, colored pencils, twistables and multicultural crayons.  The fuschia bin holds all of our word rings and writing cards.  On the right are dry erase boards and erasers (I hold the dry erase markers hostage on my desk for my little friends to borrow.  If I find one more without a cap I will scream!).  On the bottom left are a crayon caddy and colored pencil caddy.  Last but not least a bin of writing and drawing books.  I like to keep these right in the writing center for easy reference, and also have a few of them displayed on top of the shelves.  I am kicking myself right now for not taking better pictures!
3.  We just had our fifth snow day this year (FIFTH!), plus one hurricane day (Thanks, Sandy!), and will now officially be in school until June 28th.  WHAT?!?  I grew up in Maine and never had so many snow days!  I tried to be a "glass half full" teacher and filled my sand table up with snow, eyedroppers and cups of colored water.  My little ones threw on their gloves and LOVED this center!

4.  I came home late on my birthday after having to go to a stinky class to this... an amazing steak dinner cooked by my fiance!  This man does NOT cook, so the fact he made steaks, veggies and twice baked potatoes blue my mind.  Trust me when I say that Whole Foods does not mess around when it comes to steaks... sooo delicious!  Personally I am also a big fan of the mixing bowl turned wine cooler thingy.

5.  I saved the best for last!  On Thursday I read Pinkalicious to my little ones, and we also watched the animated version {HERE}.  The next day, a little girl arrived late.  She walked in the door at the other end of my classroom, and I immediately said "Oh my goodness!  Are you okay?!?"  I thought that she was crying or sick.  When I got closer, I realized that her face was PINK, not red.  "I wanted to be like Pinkalicious!" she said.  "The cupcakes didn't work, but my mom's lipstick did!"   It was maybe the most hilarious thing I have ever seen.  Her poor mommy tried scrubbing it off but lipstick is stubborn as heck and her face was definitely still pink :) How's that for a text to self connection?  :)

Rainbow Craftivity {FREEBIE}

We are wrapping up our colors unit, and I found an ADORABLE craftivity to finish up our unit.  It is a great way to teach the colors of the rainbow, and of course about Mr. Roy G. Biv. 

We had a holiday on Monday, and ANOTHER snow day today (ugh!) so I did not get to try it out in my own classroom yet.  I will post pictures as soon as I do!

                                Source: momscraftyspace.blogspot.com via Mary on Pinterest

All you need are paper plates, cotton balls and streamers.  I grabbed mine at the Dollar Tree... $1 gets you two rolls of streamers!

I whipped up these printables to go along with the craft.  I will just print them out, cut them into fourths and have each little one glue one onto the back of their "cloud."  They are differentiated to meet the needs of your students.

And this poster will remind students about the order of colors in the rainbow.  You could have older or more advanced students write the colors out rather than tracing them.  This craftivity goes perfectly with my Color Words unit!

You can grab all of these freebies {HERE}

The Naughty Leprechaun Story Cover
Also, please don't forget to enter my Naughty Leprechaun book giveaway!  It is so easy to enter :)
You can check it out by clicking on the picture.

St. Patrick's Day Giveaway!

I hope that everyone is having a fabulous St. Patrick's Day.  Here in Boston people go CRAZY on St. Paddy's Day!  Yesterday we spent all day in South Boston (aka Southie) and had so much fun with all the craziness.  I can't even imagine what is going on down there right now on parade day!

A few weeks ago, super sweet author Stephanie Hicks emailed me and offered to give away a copy of her amazing book to one of my readers.

The Naughty Leprechaun Story Cover

The Naughty Leprechaun Story is an interesting twist on the traditional leprechaun story.  Leyland is a mischievous, naughty leprechaun who loves to play pranks.  Leyland spent most of his days in cobbler school in the time out chair!  What a naughty leprechaun!  His twin brother Liam is a hardworking leprechaun who rewards good deeds and hard work. 

This book can turn into a super fun family tradition that teaches your children (or students) the importance of hard work.  For the three days leading up to St. Patrick's Day, children can decide if they want the nice or naughty leprechaun to visit, by leaving the special coin on the Leyland or Liam side next to their bed.  This could also be done in school!  The next morning they will know which leprechaun visited: if it was Liam there will be treasures.  If it was Leyland, there will be pranks and sweet treats.  How fun is this?  I know that when I have little ones at home I will definitely be starting up this tradition with them.  I also started it at school this year, and the kids went WILD for this book.

I especially love the page where the little boy and girl are building a leprechaun trap.  This would be absolutely perfect to start a leprechaun trap building project in your classroom.  Have you seen all of the great plan making, writing prompts and so much more that ties into these traps?  Here are a few of my favorites:

                                 Source: inchmark.squarespace.com via Mary on Pinterest

                                          Source: aggiemania.blogspot.com via Hannah on Pinterest

You can check out all of the awesome features of this keepsake book here:

There are five EASY ways to enter this giveaway:
Like The Naughty Leprechaun on Facebook
Like Adventures in Kindergarten on Facebook
Follow my blog
Follow my TPT store 
Share this giveaway on your facebook, twitter or blog

None of the options are mandatory, so you can do as many or as few as you would like!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Birthday TO YOU!!!

 It's my birthday and YOU, my lovely followers, are getting a present!

I made a 17 page patterns unit just for you!  It's perfect for math centers, and can also be used as homework or small group work.  It is based off of my All About Patterns Unit.

You can snag it for free {HERE}.  If you like this unit, you can check out the whole 150 page unit {HERE}.  It is on sale ($3 off!) this week only!


And the Winners Are...

Congratulations, Ladies!  
Tami won an Amazon giftcard, and Elizabeth won my March Vocabulary and Writing Unit!

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I am giving away my biggest freebie yet as a thank you to all of my amazing followers.  Come back tomorrow to check it out!

Free $ to Spend at Donors Choose!

I just found out about an awesome new app that can help you raise money for your projects posted on Donors Choose!  For every 10 receipts you upload, Endorse will give you $5 to donate on Donors Choose.  In addition, they give you cash back for any "qualifying purchases."  Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me!

Click {HERE} to check it out.

Full disclosure: I have NO affiliation with Endorse, but if you sign up using my link they will give me $1.  Any money I receive from this will go straight to my Donors Choose projects.  Thanks!

Five for Friday {March 8}

 1.  I am in a huge fight with my school district (kidding... kind of).  This is what I saw when I went to clean off my car at 5:45 am.  Yes, we still had school today, despite the foot or more of snow that fell.  The best part?  IT DID NOT STOP SNOWING UNTIL DISMISSAL. 

I had six students come to school today, out of 22.  Really?!?

Here is another snow shot, stolen from my bff Kendra.  In case you can't tell, it is her patio set absolutely buried when she got home from school.  Rude, I tell you!

2.  New philosophy: If you have to go to school in a blizzard, have fun with it.
We put snow in the water table.  I added cups of colored water and eyedroppers.  The kids LOVED IT!

3.  Lou the Lion and Heidi the Hyena came to school to get us excited about eating breakfast.  My kids loved it (except for one little one, who hid behind me the entire time and clung to my arm for dear life).  Shout out to our awesome PE teacher for finding all kinds of opportunities for our little ones.

4.  My fiance and I went on a two day crazy maniac roadtrip to scout out tons of wedding venues.   It was so fun!

5.  I threw a baby shower at school for my partner in crime.  There was a slight snafu... lets just say there was a ginormous language barrier and I ended up with a cake that was a lot more tacky than cute. Whoops!  To be honest I was completely mortified that people would think I picked this out on purpose :)


 At least the flowers were pretty!  I am head over heels for tulips.