Friday, January 30, 2015

CELEBRATING THE 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL!

 100 DAYS!

Not sure how it happened, but 100 days of school have gone by already!  We spent the day celebrating and working on many projects for 100 and Zero the Hero, who has been visiting our classroom every 10 days all year.  
Our Zero the Hero is a hand puppet with a red cape.  The children collaged him and added a trail of numbers while practicing their counting by tens.  We created him using the same cutting techniques in our book, Counting 100 Days of School with Zero the Hero! 
Zero the Hero and his numbers!
This year we found a sale on small beads and had the children count out 100 beads to create their own necklaces using 100 charts.  In the past we have used cereal loops for stringing but the kids usually eat them right away! 
Necklace work table for stringing beads

Stringing beads on a piece of yarn with a taped end
After a discussion of how a 100-year-old person looks like, we had the children draw a self-portrait on brown paper bags.  Then we crinkled the bags to create "wrinkles" and smoothed them out to see what we would look like as 100-year-olds!  Have you ever asked your children to guess how old you are?  Be prepared!!

Here we are as 100-year-olds!
Our 3rd grade buddies came for a visit and helped us make hats for the 100th Day!  The "hair" hanging down around the hat is made by gluing strips of paper with numbers on them from 1-10, 11-20, 2 -30, etc.  Each kindergartner ended up with a hat they could read from one to one hundred!  And of course they glued numbers cut from our Ellison die-cutting machine to make a 100 on the front! 
Putting strips of numbers

Our 3rd graders helping!

What a grand day!  Here we are showing off our new accessories!
Hats, necklaces, and Zero!


We love the 100th Day!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DISCOVERY BOTTLES!

Discovery Bottles 

Have you ever used discovery bottles?  Our students love them!  We color rice and save water bottles to use.  The first time we use them, we put small toys inside for the children to discover!  They twist and turn the bottle to find the objects.  We make sure that the bottles are taped shut so no one can open them!  The bottles are stored in a small tub which can be placed in the middle of a work table for all to reach.  


Using plain paper, the children attempt to draw a picture of what they find. 


 Here's a group of students at a work table during Literacy Center time.   Notice that some are using crayons but there's one little girl who is attempting to write the words with a pencil.  This activity is great for differentiation.

Have you ever seen so much concentration????  
Six children can work at a table but we make sure we put out 8 or more bottles.  
During the year we switch the items in the bottles.  We use small plastic letters, tiny items that rhyme with a picture on a worksheet, numbers, anything that matches a skill we are working on!  

Never dyed rice before?  We purchase large bags of it at Sam's Club or CostCo and then put about 2 cups worth into a ziploc baggie with about 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring.  Zip it up - give it a shake - pour it out onto waxed paper and in a few minutes you have colored rice!  
How do you dye rice?  How about noodles for stringing?  Anyone have a different "recipe?"  We'd love to hear about it so please leave a comment below!  


Monday, January 19, 2015

Two Finds!

LOOK  WHAT  WE  FOUND!

Every once in a while you have to inject something new into the classroom to keep the kids on their toes!  Here are two such items we found recently. 

Frozen Writing White Boards

While shopping at Target at Christmastime, these Frozen boards just happened to jump into my cart!  They are pre-printed with numbers and letters for handwriting practice.  We use them at a literacy station with white board markers and erasers.  The kiddos love them!   

 Flannel Board Set from Katie & Company

Long ago we met Julie from Katie & Company and love her flannelboard sets.  She cuts her own flannel, glues the details on, and creates her own songs to go with many of them, all in her own basement!  Here's one that the children love called "Who Let The Letters Out?"  We play as a whole group but here the children are working on a flannel board with the letters.
Julie sells a few products on TpT at Katie and Company or on her own website at Katie & Co

Keep creating in kindergarten!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Linky Party for Valentine's Day

Valentine Linky Party!


Linda:  I believe that Kindergartners were more excited about Valentine’s Day than any other holiday!  Maybe because we are usually in school on the very date of the holiday, unlike Christmas which usually falls several days to a week after break begins.  So it’s never too early to start planning your Valentine celebration!

Lisa:  We want to tell you how we use our Valentine Song Sheet as part of our celebration!  The students cut the sets and numbers apart and glue them onto another sheet in correct order.   
Finished Song Sheet
Here are some tips and activities you can do with any of our song sheets:


♡Always copy off extra pages of the numbers and sets page - pieces just seem to disappear! 

♡We copy the sets and numbers page onto colored paper so the children won't need to color the small clipart.

♡To help the children cut the sets apart with little or no scraps, we precut the extra paper away and hand out only the numbers to cut apart and glue on first. Then they cut the sets to match up. 
Papers we give our students
♡After the children complete the song sheet, we use it as a whole group to sing "One little, two little, three little Valentines…"  This is a great opportunity to teach word choice.  When you sing the last line "10 little ____Valentines" have the children suggest words to use such as jumping, clapping, hopping, or whispering.  Then sing the song while performing the action!  This is a favorite of the children and we'll sing it over and over with different words - a great way to expend their Valentine energy on Feb. 14. 

♡All our song sheets are great activities when you have a substitute.  Once you have done one or two earlier in the year, the kids know what to do so a sub doesn't even need to model the project!  And it takes quite a while for most children to complete. 

♡Once the children have had lots of experience with numbers and our song sheets, we have them put the numbers in reverse order and sing "10 little, 9 little, 8 little Valentines…"



Add your own Valentine products below!  Use the pin at the top of this page to help spread the word!  Don't forget to visit the other stores and see what's available.   




Monday, January 12, 2015

Sunday Scoop
Back into a routine after the holidays - we thought our lives would calm down.  NOT!!!  Life just keeps coming at us!  We're linking up with Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop, three things we have to do, two things we hope to do, and one thing we'd be happy to do.  Click on this button to see other teachers' Sunday Scoop!

Here's what we'll be doing: 

Lisa:  The first week back was busy but this one will be even busier with classroom activities!  

Linda:  Even though I'm retired it doesn't mean I sit around watching TV and eating BonBon's!  Lots to do for KinderLit as well as quilting and babysitting! 
What are you doing this week?  Hope you have some fun!
Why KinderLit Books?
Lisa and I taught together for over 20 years and discovered that the children become more actively involved in their own learning when we make books with them.  They take great pride in their work and see themselves as readers and writers long before beginning a formal reading program.  Worksheets just don't seem to provide the same kind of motivation to do the best work possible and usually end up in a pile at the bottom of their backpacks. 

But not so with their books!  Lisa's younger son was in my kindergarten class and in May she asked him what he wanted to save from that year.  He selected all his KinderLit books!  And we weren't even in business then, had no computers, and hand-wrote the wording on the pages.  Scott graduated from college several years ago and still talks about the books he made in kindergarten!

We understand that the children have to practice skills with worksheets but even those are made into books!
Student working on Little Books for beginning sounds
Check out our newest addition of books for skill practice, Word Families - Set 2: 
Have a grand week!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

BACK TO WORK!

Are You Ready?
The decorations are put away, the gifts have been exchanged, and the company has finally gone home! Now it's time to return to school.  To celebrate (maybe "celebrate" isn't exactly the right word??), we're having a Back To Work sale!
Everything in our store will be 20% off Monday - Wednesday only!  If you shop on TpT, there is no need to use a code but if you shop at our website, please use 2015 as your code.  
This is a great chance to stock up for the rest of the school year!

Changes/Additions To Our KinderLit Books!
We're working on our books that are based on literature.  We are adding writing journals with two sets of pages for beginner and more experienced writers.  Here are samples of the journal pages from Colors in My World from Brown Bear Brown Bear: 
Page for beginner writers
Page for more experienced writers
In many of our books we'll be adding a second set of book pages with more places for the children to write rather than just fill in a blank.  
It's a slow process but we'll let you know when we've uploaded another addition.  Until we add or change a KinderLit book, we are reducing the prices of our $6.50 books to $4.50!  The price will revert back to $6.50 after we've made our changes.  
 Have a great week back at school!  We're sure your students will love to see you again!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!




Linda: As I sit here waiting for the clock to strike midnight, I'm thinking back of all the wonderful things that happened to me in 2014.  I won't bore you to tears with my list but will just mention a few.  I bought a house finally in Georgia after moving here in 2011 and renting since then.  I now have an office and an extra bedroom for my quilting!  I traveled a little and have made so many new friends through Teachers Pay Teachers.  Can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for me!  

Lisa: 2014 seems to have flown right by!  It was an exciting year with many months of waiting for my granddaughter's birth.  I love being a grandma and living close enough to be able to babysit!  My entire family visited for Thanksgiving from the state of Washington to ooh and aah over the baby!  

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What's the Story Behind the Logo? 

Don't you wish you had come up with the Eat More Chikin campaign for Chick Fil-A?  Or how about Flo from Progressive?  When you see those ads, you immediately connect them with the products!  We've been invited by Art with Jenny K. to tell the story behind our logo. 

When we began KinderLit back in 1999, we struggled for a name for our new business.  Lisa finally had a brainstorm one night and called me very late to suggest KinderLit as a combo of Kindergarten and Literature.  We've stuck with it ever since!

On our website and our banner at conference booths, we have the word KinderLit in different colored letters all mixed up. 

When we started our Teachers Pay Teachers store and needed a small logo, we used a photo of ourselves at a booth - I think it was taken by Greg from ESGI - with our KinderLit shirts on. 

When we hired Danielle at CrayonBoxLearning to design our blog, she suggested a more updated logo.  Since we both love polka dots, we went with that theme and love our new logo!   Don't you???


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We wish you all a wonderful, healthy, and happy 2015!