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Learning at Home with Lakeshore

Now that Harry is almost 2, he is ready for fine motor practice...and we do this through play!  This month we used some of Lakeshore Learning's toddler activities to work on his coordination and vocabulary.

Forest Friends Playset is just about the cutest little activity to practice fine motor skills.  This introductory puzzle was perfect for him to practice squeezing the little animals to fit inside the tree.  The animals are squishy which allowed Harry to get a firm grasp while he tried to place each animal in a spot.  

The best part is, all of the animals can fit in all of the holes, so the goal is to practice making each animal stick.  We practiced saying the animal names as he was interacting with them.  I highly recommend this product as a first puzzle game!

Harry's favorite activity was the Stack and Roll Wooden Race Cars.  These cars were fun for him to stack, push, roll, and race all over the house.  We practiced saying the colors and position words (first, seconds, last, etc.)
Some of the sentences I would say were:
-Push the red car to me.
-Stack the blue car on the red car.
-Can you find the yellow car?
-Find the small car.

I was able to sneak new vocabulary words in without him even knowing just by talking while we were playing.

The teacher in me loved the Lakeshore Alphabet Rockets.  If you teach Kindergarten this would be a great item to invest in for center time or small group instruction.  There is a rocket for each letter, which contains two pictures with the same beginning sound.  These rockets are great for phonemic awareness!

Harry had a great time matching the rockets by color (I only placed 4 rockets out at a time for him).  Once he stacked one, we would say the picture names, I would emphasize the beginning sound and letter.  The more he can be exposed to letters and sounds before preschool, the better!

As a Lakeshore blog ambassador, I have been compensated for this blog post, but all thoughts are my own! :)

Teacher Memes

I think I might have found my new calling in life.  Making teacher memes.
Well, at least I make myself laugh!😂
I'm going to share the "behind the scenes" inspiration for each of these memes...

Maybe I avoid my principal the month before school gets out...
One time I bought homemade salsa from a co-worker (like the best I've ever had) and I accidentally left it in the fridge over the weekend and I came back Monday and it was GONE.  I'm still mad about this one.

It happens every year.  The last day of school I always get a pedicure.  So when that parent wants one more conference, I give it my all, but secretly trying to decide what color nail polish I'm going to pick.

I mean, what other option to you have?!

When a sub doesn't show up, we take each other's class for the day.  We get paid for it, I'm happy to help a friend in need, but this is the face I'm making inside... knowing I have to make a new plan for the day because I will have 60 kids in my room but only have sets of 30 in EVERYTHING.  The more I think about it, that is a great Common Core math equation. 

If I had one wish for staff meetings it would be that I could volunteer to make a staff Starbuck's run.  

Testing Week with Expo Markers

What is one thing teachers love?  EXPO Markers.  
I am partnering with EXPO to showcase their NEW Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator. It’s clear ink barrel lets you know howexactly much ink is left!  That way you can toss the marker BEFORE you are up at the board and grab a marker that is all dried out. #teacherfail

Did you know that you can write on classroom desks with dry erase EXPO markers and you can wipe erase the ink away, just like a whiteboard?! (disclaimer- test on a small area of your desks before you write on every surface and THEN realize it doesn't erase, lol) I particularly like the chisel tip because you can create three different lines and the six different colors brings some variety to each of the notes.

For special occasions I like to leave a note on the students' desks with EXPO markers.  This year I left each student a note to wish the good luck before we started testing.  My students get so nervous about state tests, so for them to find a little note in the morning helped set them at ease. 

You could also write on the desks:
-coming back from a holiday break
-the last day of school
-for a student's birthday
-responding to a question
-to encourage each other
-small group for math

I must say, their favorite part was writing messages to each other!  Each desk was full of positive notes!

Be sure to grab a pack of EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator markers on your next Target run! ;).  You can also grab them on Amazon and other places that sell EXPO markers as well!  Please note that I am partnering with EXPO and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Teacher Appreciation Tags

This year I decided to go with a fruit theme for Teacher Appreciation Week!  Target had adorable fruit keychains that inspired this idea.  These are most likely a seasonal item so you might not be able to find them, but you can attach this printable to anything pineapple, apple, or watermelon!

Starbucks has cute apple gift cards this month (and thank you Starbucks, the minimum balance you can load onto it is $10! lol). I decided to attach a gift card to my son's teacher.

You can find multiple phrases in the free printable pack!
Here are the tags I included:
It has been so SWEET working with you.
You are a SWEET teacher.
Thank you for being a SWEET student.
Thank you for being a SWEET volunteer.
Thank you for being a SWEET principal.
Thank you for being so SWEET.