Best Trick EVER!

Okay, I will admit it.  I hate the easels in my classroom.  Not because I don't think they are amazing for the kids (I do!) but because they are  I have spent hours of my life rinsing, soaking and drying paint cups. 

I am SO happy to say I will never waste time scrubbing away at tiny plastic cups ever again.
Here's the trick (it is SO easy):
Collect your clean cups.
Put a sandwich bag inside each cup, pulling the excess bag back over the rim of the cup so that it hangs on the outside of the cup.
Add paint (inside the baggies).
Snap on the paint cup lids and you are all set!
Adding the plastic bags takes a few seconds longer during set up, but saves TONS of time when you want to add new paint!  All you have to do is take of the lid, pull out the bag and throw it away.  Then you can add new colors quick as can be.

Fire Safety Freebies

I am knee deep in planning our fire safety week and field trip to the fire station, but whipped up a quick freebie I wanted to share with you.

It's a number puzzle.  You can eprint on cardstock, cut, laminate and have children practice putting the numbers in order as a math center.  OR you can reproduce one per child, have them cut and then glue onto construction paper.  

I have included two versions: one through four and one through six.  Click on the picture above to download.

You can snag last year's fire safety labeling freebie by clicking on the above picture.

Need more fire safety?
I have two awesome fire safety products that are PERFECT for teaching fire safety!  I know I will be using them all week.

You can also grab both of these items as a bundle {HERE}

Huge Sale and a Freebie!

TPT is celebrating 100,000 likes on Facebook with a huge sale!  I have also put all of my products on sale for 20% off, giving you HUGE savings.  I know I am about to head over and clear out my TPT wishlist... woo hoo!

Here are the three products that have been super popular lately:

Also available as My Thankful Book 2 (for younger students) or a Bundle of both books

And here's your freebie!

This freebie comes right from my Boo! Spooky Fun Math Centers Unit.  You can grab the freebie {HERE}.  I would LOVE it if you could leave feedback after you download :)

EEK, a Fall Fun Sale and FREEBIE!

 I just happened to open Teachers Pay Teachers this morning and was SHOCKED to see my own face looking back at me.  I have been kinda sorta hoping this would happen for the year and a half I have been a TPT seller.  So exciting!

Also, I am throwing a sale on all of my Autumn themed products {and it turns out I have TONS}!  From fire safety to Halloween and Thanksgiving, I have it all, people!
All of the products below are 20% off through Columbus Day.  Happy weekend, everybody!

Just click on the link to check out each item.

My Thankful Book 1 (for younger students)
My Thankful Book 2 (for older students)
My Thankful Book Bundle (Books 1 and 2)

Also, I wanted to re-share this firefighter labeling mini-unit.  You can grab it for free {HERE}.

Five for Friday {October 11th}

Sooo I was super duper close to actually posting this on Friday.  I'm doing it before I go to bed on Friday (technically the wee hours of Saturday), so it should count, right?  You can check out the linky part at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

We made these adorable faces and I LOVE how they look in my classroom windows {the windows look out into the hallway}.  We set out a variety of types of yarns, googly eyes, markers and fabric shapes.  The kids looked in the mirror and went to town creating themselves! 
PS. Sorry for the papers sticking out of the cubbies in the bottom photo! 
I went to a training at the New England Aquarium {in Boston} so that we could get a free field trip for our grade level.  We got to go into the aquarium after hours, and it was SO fun to be the only people there!  They have also just finished a huge renovation and it is gorgeous in there.
I even touched a ray and a SHARK!  I know, I was freaking out a little.  The ray feels like a slimy lasagna noodle and the shark was a little sandpapery.

I even snapped this quick video of a shark egg.  You can see the shark fetus (or whatever you call it!) wiggling all around inside.  How much will my babies love this?!
I highly recommend checking out the Aquarium if you are ever in the area.
We have been having a serious tattletale issue that is driving me absolutely bananas!  I found HeidiSongs "The Tattling Song" and it is saving my life.  Now that they know the song, when a tattler comes over I just start humming it and they *usually* get the hint.  It won't allow me to embed it, but you can check out the song {here}.

Hot Vanilla Milk
I was sick all week, and was craving something warm and delicious.  I saw this on Pinterest and knew I had to make it IMMEDIATELY if not sooner.  It was so, so, so yum!  I highly recommend it if you like vanilla.  You can check it out {here}.

Got to run, this little guy wants to play fetch with his favorite skunk.  Can you stand this little face?

Say My Name, Say My Name

 If you aren't singing Destiny's Child in your head right now then I don't know if we can be friends.  I'm lucky I'm home alone right now, because I may or may not be belting it at the top of my lungs.  Sidenote: Can we talk about my girl Beyonce?  Orange leather bra top and what the heck is happening with your hair, girl?  I guess we all had our moments in 2000. 

This is only our fourth week of pre-K, so everything has been all about  names.  In addition to the name routine and puzzles that I do every year, I decided to spice it up a bit.

Of course I had to kick things off with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  We read the book,

Sang the song,

Played the game,

and acted out the book!

But the kids' favorite was definitely our coconut tree art project.

Because it was the first week of school, I pre-cut the pieces and simply had them glue.  Although I do prefer to have the children practice scissor skills, this project helped me to get a quick snapshot of my little ones' skills, and also gave me the opportunity to sit and chat with them as they glued.  I just eyeballed the trunk and palm leaves, and used a 3/4 inch circular punch for the coconuts.  Easy peasy!

For the names we used puffy, glittery stickers that I got at Michael's (love their sales!).

I loved that it also gave me an idea of who knew how to spell their names and who didn't.  They also made great {and very colorful} decor for Open House.  The kids loved grabbing their parents by the hand and dragging them over to our display to guess which tree was theirs.  Love it!

 Next up is my new absolutely, positively favorite thing ever... Friend Bingo!  I found this amazing inspiration on Pinterest, then used Powerpoint to make my own.

Fun, right?  There are five different gameboards with different combinations of my 21 little sweeties' faces.  

I set out my favorite new tray with cubes and cards with my little ones' on them in the middle.  I modeled how to choose a card without looking, say the friend's name, and put the card aside.  We practiced placing a cube on top of the child's face, and the first person who had all eight pictures won.  Pretty soon they didn't need me any more, and they were fighting over who would be the "teacher."  The best part to me is how they are getting some great exposure to letters and names while having so much fun!

This is the Itso bin I used... I love me some Target!

Last but not least we did some old fashioned name writing practice with a new twist (also Pinterest inspired!).  I love how this method of name writing scaffolds kids to write one letter at a time, limiting their frustration.

  The best part is how excited and proud they were... even the babies who struggled a lot with letter formation were not frustrated.

From a teaching standpoint I love that it gives me a great piece of assessment to help me figure out where each little friend is, and what they need next.  I will definitely be hanging on to these puppies to document their improvement!

And {HERE} is a freebie for you!  The font shown in my photos is Jessica Stanford's KinderPrint.  I changed it to Century Gothic in the freebie so that it works for everyone.