Nursery Rhyme Fun!

How many of my kindergarten teacher friends teach nursery rhymes?  It is amazing to me how many of my students come to kindergarten not knowing nursery rhymes.

Nursery Rhymes are so beneficeial to our students.  They are good for the brain!  They are great for fluency and rhyming.  Plus, let's be honest, they are just fun to say!

To supplement my nursery rhyme instruction, I created this Nursery Rhyme literacy unit.

Inside this unit, you will find activities for the following nursery rhymes:
~Humpty Dumpty
~Hey Diddle Diddle
~Itsy Bitsy Spider
~Jack & Jill
~Mary Had a Little Lamb
~Hickory Dickory Dock

I usually teach this unit early in my school year so I made some simple cut and paste sequencing activities.

There is also reading response sheets for each nursery rhyme.

Three simple and fun center activities are also included.  The all-time favorite in my classroom Read & Write the Room.

We work hard on beginning sounds at the beginning of the year (as well as fine motor skills) so Itsy Bitsy Beginning Sounds is perfect for both skills.

Since nursery rhymes have lots of rhyming, it is the perfect time to start to work on that skill with Nursery Rhyme Rhymes.  The students can play rhyming memory for this center.

Then they can record their work by completing a cut and paste activity.  I like to do a lot of cutting and pasting in the beginning of the year so my students can work on their fine motor skills.  Many of my students come in lacking scissor and gluing skills so this is great practice.

If you are interested in this low prep literacy unit, just click on the picture below to grab it from my TpT store!


Pencil Grip Review & Giveaway

At the beginning of this school year, I noticed that the majority of my class had trouble with pencil grip.  I had never had so many students in one class with poor pencil grip.  I didn't know what to do so I asked our district literacy coach for some help.

She suggested I get pencil grips for my class.  After searching online for just the right ones, I found these pencil grips.

These amazing pencil grips are from The Pencil Grip, Inc.  You can find them here.  I bought a class set of the "Training" Crossover Grip.  Oh my goodness gracious......I couldn't believe the difference it made in just a few short days.  Once I put these pencil grips on my students' pencils and taught them how to properly hold the pencil (courtesy of the pencil grip user guide) their grip started improving.

After I felt my students started mastering their grip with the Crossover Grip pencil grips, I then started moving my students to the "Transition" Pinch Grip pencil grips.  I had them continue to use them until they were ready to move on to the "Graduation" Pencil Grip.

When my students would use crayons or markers and I would notice poor pencil grip, all I had to say was "Hold your crayon like you hold your pencil," and their grip immediately switched.  By the end of the year, most of my students no longer needed a pencil grip at all!

Now, you may be wondering about how to handle the pencil grips if you use community supplies like I do.  At first, I removed the pencil grips when a new pencil was needed and would show my students how to remove it as I was doing it.  Then after a couple weeks my students were able to take the pencil grip off and place it on a new pencil independently.  They were very protective over their pencil grips and thought they were the coolest things ever!  I thought so too because they were finally mastering their pencil grip!

Have you ever had a class that just had a hard time mastering pencil grip?  Would like to win your own Pencil Grip 3 Step Training Kit?  Then enter the rafflecopter below.  A winner will be chosen on Saturday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

X-citing Surprise Day

How many of you do an ABC countdown at the end of the year?  Most of the teachers in my building do one.  This year our K-1 group decided to have an "x-citing surprise" for X day, but this could also be a fun reward day activity or even a last day of school activity.

Before school, I wrote out a few activities on strips of paper and then put them inside balloons.  I blew up the balloons and hung them on our front bulletin board with times underneath.

The best part about this was I could plan it out during times when it was a natural break in our day.

At the specified times, I popped the balloon and we found out what the activity for that time was.  My students thought this was SO MUCH FUN!  Just having the balloon being popped was probably surprise enough for them ;)

Here are a few ideas for activities you could put inside your balloons:

  • 10 minutes of GoNoodle
  • Extra Recess
  • Free draw time
  • Sit by a friend at the carpet
  • Use whiteboards
  • Read outside 
  • Use sidewalk chalk to practice sight words
  • Listen to Kidz Bop while you work
Really the possibilities are endless.  Do you have any other ideas that you would put in a balloon?  I would love for you to add to the list in the comments below!

Spring Teacher Retreat Re-cap

Do you ever get to that point in the year when you are exhausted and feel uninspired?  I was there two weeks ago, but then I went to the Spring Teacher Retreat in French Lick with 200 of my closest teacher friends.  I left the retreat feeling inspired and re-energized for the rest of the school year.

First of all, when you are in the car for six hours and it seems like two because you are chatting so much with your blogging bestie, (Heidi from Flipping for First) you know the weekend is going to be amazing.

If you have not been to this meet up, then believe me when I say it is a MUST do!  My sweet friends Holly and Brittany put on an amazing event.

Our theme this year was “Take your passion and make it happen.”  It is amazing to be with 200 other people who are just as passionate about their job as you are about yours.  It just ignites that fire within you. 

I have to say that my biggest takeaway from this event was this quote from Kim Bearden:  "Build relationships that fuel your soul!"  That is what this weekend is all about.  We need to surround ourselves with people who lift us up not bring us down.  

During our daytime event, we had some very generous sponsors spoil us with some amazing swag.

I am beyond excited that I won a year subscription to ESGI!  I can’t wait to get started with that.  I know it will make doing assessments so much easier and less time consuming. 

In the evening, we had an EPIC 80’s party.  Where else can you see Madonna, Richard Simmons, Tom Cruise (times 2), Axel Rose, and Pee Wee Herman all in one room?

I think my favorite part of the 80’s party was the fact that we are able to pull off our flash mob successfully.  It was so much fun. 

My other favorite part was the amazing photo booth provided by GoNoodle.  I have all my pictures from that booth hanging by my computer at school so I can always just look at them and smile. 

On Sunday morning, we got together for one last picture and good-byes. 

I love these girls and I am so glad I got to spend so much time with them this weekend.

Our AMAZINGLY GENEROUS sponsors donated over $15,000 in prizes and giveaways!

The following sponsors LOVE to support educators!

Image result for erin condren logo
 Image result for twinkle twinkle little jar
Image result for gonoodle
Image result for teachers pay teachers Image result for creative clips Image result for staff development for educators Image result for get your teach on
Image result for osmo Image result for udderly smooth Image result for sit spotsImage result for the pencil gripImage result for kwik stix
Image result for stella and dot Image result for younique products Image result for silly mcgilly Image result for creative teaching press
Image result for scentsyImage result for vera bradley
Image result for hue document camera softwareImage result for hue document camera softwareImage result for hue document camera software

Image result for abc mouse
Image result for esgi

Image result for jamberry
Image result for lakeshore learningImage result for seat sacks

Image result for better life bags  Image result for classroom friendly supplies  Image result for perfectionate photo propsImage result for doodle bugs paper Image result for doterra
Image result for book creator  Image result for maria dismondy Image result for just plain adoorable

Image result for erin condren logo
a Rafflecopter giveaway