Pineapple Summer Bulletin Board

Hello everyone! The summer countdown has begun!  I officially have 13 days left!  I feel half excited, and half panicky, trying to squeeze in all the last bits of knowledge that I can impart to them!  As the school year winds down, I am looking for quick and easy bulletin boards that we can do, and I've jumped on the pineapple bandwagon! 

When I saw these pineapple faces from Creative Clips I became immediately obsessed! I'm not ashamed to admit it, I jump on bandwagons like nobodies business, Whether it's Rae Dunn, or Fixer Upper, or Pineapples, I'm as basic as they come! : )

I love to use Krista Wallden's clip art for art projects, because she produces work that is nice and simple with clean black lines, but also contains adorable details that add so much fun and character to the classroom.  To create the art work, I took the black lines of pineapples, and blew them up in power point.  I gave my kids a couple different pineapple options, and I printed them up on card stock.

We started by outlining the pineapple in crayon to make the colors stand out a little bit more, and then we headed outside to do some water coloring.

Finally, the kids cut it out, and I put it on our bulletin board.  I love how everything pops on the black background, and I would love to do all black bulletin boards next year, but I'm afraid that it might make the classroom too dark.  Have any of you tried all black bulletin boards?

The center sign was made with some beautiful KG fonts, one of those being Pineapple Delight of course!  I made the sign below in power point and printed the PDF out in poster size.  I followed the directions on a Pinterest pin I had saved a long time ago, and it worked perfectly.  Here's a link to the tutorial:

I printed the sign, laminated it, and I'm going to be honest, my husband put it together while I was cooking dinner.  Attention to detail is not my strong suit : )

If you would like a copy of this sign, click on the link below, and good luck keeping your sanity as another school year comes to a close!


Kindergarten Early Finishers - Setting Up for Success

Finding activities for early finishers has always been a struggle for me.  For the last eight years, I came up with different plans every summer to address this issue.  Some ideas worked better than others, but I wasn't completely satisfied with any of my plans!

One of the biggest issues for me, was my limited number of copies.  I have absolutely no extra copies to use for early finishers, so I needed something that they could use, and then erase.  I also wanted something that I could introduce at the beginning of the year, and that students could complete independently the rest of the year.  Finally, I needed activities that would provide students practice with topics we had already covered, but that they would also find engaging and fun! With all this in mind, I created the Kindergarten Early Finishers Task Cards.

The inspiration started with these beautiful boxes from Michael's. Click on the links below the picture to purchase these boxes.

Photo Boxes from Michael's (Don't forget the use your coupon's!)
Photo Boxes from Amazon (Amazon has it in colored or clear)

I've used these boxes for an entire year now, and they are fairly durable.  I also have a rough class this year, that struggles to treat things carefully, so I'm even more impressed that they have lasted!

I broke the task cards up by months with an increasing level of difficulty in both Language Arts and Math. At the beginning of every month, I take about 10 minutes to introduce the new cards. Many of the cards are similar enough to ones the students have seen before, so the skills are easily transferable. I rarely have a students ask me how to complete the cards in a box, which saves me a lot of time!

I looked for storage options for an entire year's worth of cards, and also found these boxes at Michael's.  Both types of boxes are OFTEN 50% off, and then of course with a coupon, you can get them cheaper as well.

I originally found these boxes at Michael's, and I'm sure they still have them, but I couldn't find them online.  I did find them on Amazon though.

When students are done with their work, they can grab a box, and practice their skills.

My students' this year are obsessed with the memory games!

This project was a labor of love for me this year, and I feel like, in my 9th year of teaching, I finally found a solution to my early finisher's problem.  If you would like your own copy of this early finisher's resource, just click on the link below. You can buy the cards month by month, or you can save money on the year long bundle.


Colorful Carnations!

Hi everyone! I'm taking advantage of this 3-day weekend to get caught up on my to-do list!  My husband and I spent all day cleaning yesterday, and I threw out my back out vacuuming! #officiallyold
 Today I'm taking it easy, and cleaning up the office/desktop, and wanted to share with you the project my students and I did for our science fair this year.

Every year our school has a science fair.  The students work individually or in pairs to complete an experiment.  We display them all in our cafeteria for classroom walk-thru's, and parents viewing.  Pre-K and Kinder do group projects because if we sent something home, it would just become a parent project (although I kind of feel like that's what it becomes regardless of the grade anyway : )

I've admired these color changing experiments with flowers or celery for a while, and decided that this year we would tackle the project.  I started by grabbing some white carnations and food coloring at Vons.

I also purchased these large test tubes from Learning Resources. Check them out HERE. I was pleasantly surprised with how wide the opening were, and how sturdy the containers seemed to be.  They are perfect for kindergarten!

We added about 10 drops of food coloring to each vial.  I only had the red, yellow, green, and blue food coloring, so we had to mix some of the colors together to get the orange and purple.  This provided us with an excellent opportunity to discuss color mixing again, and we brought out our favorite color book:

Miraculously, no one spilled any of the food coloring on the carpet, cabinet, rug, or their clothing, so already the experiment was a success! I cut the flower stems back a bit, and the students placed the flowers into the vials.

We recorded our hypothesis' which ranged from - the flowers will change colors, nothing will happen, and to the inevitable - the flowers will explode (why is this always a hypothesis when we do science experiments?!?! #iblamecartoons)

I put the science fair board together and recorded our materials, procedure, and hypothesis'.

I believe I took this picture after 48 hours of the flowers soaking in the water.  They started to change around 24 hours after we put them in the water, and the flowers actually lasted over a week!  During our experiment, the yellow and orange changed color the most, and the purple absorbed the color the least.  I would be curious to see if anyone else got different results. 

My kids loved this experiment, and they kept bringing their parents in to show them the flowers and talk about what was happening, so that made it even more worth while for me!  If you would like a copy of the forms I used for my science fair board, just click on the picture below!  I hope you enjoy doing this with your students, and let me know how it comes out!


Valentine's Art Freebie

Today I wanted to share with you a simple and easy Valentine's day craft.  I was searching on Pinterest for some cute projects for the kids to do, and I saw  a beautiful art project that had the student draw lines over a heart, and fill in the lines with patterns.  I thought that the concept was awesome, but drawing lines can be tricky for kinder kids, so I created an easy template for them to use.

We started out by coloring the outside borders of the squares.

I showed them an example that I did, where the inside of the heart had two colors in an alternating pattern, and the outside square had another two colors, also in an alternating pattern.  We talked about doing it the same way as I did, and we also talked about other options that they might choose.  I didn't put a limit on what they could or couldn't do.

After we finished coloring our squares, we got to painting! I love that my room has benches right outside my windows so that I can get students working on the painting outside while others are still finishing up their coloring in the inside, and still keep an eye on them.

At the beginning of the year, I ask the parents to send in some old t-shirts for our art projects.

We let the paint dry, and hung them on our bulletin board.  I love how they look with the black background, and I love all of the different choices that the students made.

If you would like a copy of this simple art project, just click on the link below!