Blog Swap Guest: A Cupcake for the Teacher!

I would like you to welcome Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher!  If you would like to see my blog post over at Little Miss Kindergarten, please do!  There is a helpful back to school freebie for you over there! :)

Hi there!  It's Teri from

A Cupcake for the Teacher

In case you don't know who I am, this is me:

{You've probably seen this picture 100 times before!  I just love it lol!}
I'm a 26 year old newlywed from New Jersey.
This coming year will be my 5th year as a teacher!
Last year I taught 2nd grade, and this year I will teach...
Actually, it's a secret until I get the *official* placement letter in August hehe ;)
{Talk about being paranoid!}

Anywho, I'm so excited to be guest posting here on Michelle's blog for the Top Teachers' Blog Hop and Swap!  Michelle is such a sweetie and I love her stuff! :)

A little while ago I posted about my behavior bulletin board:

I title it "Are You Monkeying Around?" and use cuuute little monkeys to decorate.  To make the board I laminated colorful library pockets and attached a mini monkey {with each child's name} to the pocket with a paper clip.  In the pockets are five cards, which stand for:

{Womp.  Sorry for the blurry picture.}
Everyone starts on green.  Yellow cards can change back to green.  Orange and red cards can't change back to green.  Blue cards are for super-duper behavior... but next year I'm scrapping the blue card and looking for "Top Bananas" instead.  {Don't you just love all the cute monkey phrases?!}

Of course, we need to communicate both good and bad behavior to parents.  I do this by having my students color in a behavior calendar {which is in their take-home folders} at the end of each day:

If a kiddo is on yellow, orange, or red, I will write in a behavior code and then he/she will color the appropriate box.  The codes make it quick and easy for both teachers and parents to note behavior!  At the end of the month, I have parents sign the sheets and I keep them in my student folders.  I've been using this method for a few years now, and it seems to work really well!  

If you'd like your own copy of my 2012-2013 behavior calendars, head to my TpT shop to DL them for free! :)  Of course, let me know what you think!!  And be sure to head to my blog to see who's guest posting there for the Blog Hop and Swap!  Have a wonderful weekend!!

If you would like to see some more blogs linked up for the blog hop, check them out below!


Olympic Rings and THIS SATURDAY!!

We are learning about the Olympics in summer school this week!  I decided to try and make a painted version of the Olympic rings using the rim of plastic cups and paint!  See our project below...

I prepared five plates of paint with the colors of the Olympic rings.  Just like when sponge painting, I placed a plastic cup in each plate of paint.  

Then they went plate by plate and stamped a circle to represent each of the rings.  They had to be very careful to overlap each color so the rings interlocked. 

After we made our Olympic ring craft, we went outside for a Kindergarten version of the Olympic games... (which consisted of relay races)  Please notice the lovely olive branch hats that the kids are wearing to represent Ancient Greece. :)  We made these yesterday!

We practiced balancing a tennis ball on a racket.  This was our "tennis" event.

And we had to include a "track and field" event...the ring toss...

And for an exciting event: this Saturday I am taking part in a Blog Swap/ Hop event!  Several bloggers are guest blogging for each other.  Check back on Saturday to see who my special guest blogger will be!  I am so excited to have her, she is one of my favorites!!!  ;)  Click on the image below to see some of the bloggers that are participating!


Letter T: Best YouTube Video EVER!!!

I am teaching summer school and we have about 3 letters a week we focus on.  Today we were talking about the letter T.  I wanted to show you the cutest video on the letter T that I found on YouTube!  They changed the words to the Plain White T's song, Hey There Delilah....

The sun was shinning and we talked about how to write a T, so I thought it was the perfect time to take the chalkboards outside and practice writing Tt with chalk.  This summer, my class consists of 4-5 year olds, so I am constantly doing a different activity to keep them entertained engaged.

This week we are learning about Greece, so I am taking the opportunity to talk about the Olympics.  Tomorrow we are going to play a couple of Olympic Games outside and we will be wearing these fig leave hats that we made today!

I'll report back with how our mini Olympic Games go!

Back to School Apples Unit

One of my favorite units to start the school year with is Apples!  It is so fun because you can bring in apples to the classroom to graph, taste, paint with (yes!), throw, pattern, many things!  I made an apple unit that hopefully will be helpful to kick off the beginning of the year or the fall season!

Here is what is included in the Literacy and Math Apples Unit:
54 pages of fun that tie in with Common Core Standards!!

6 math sheets:
dice rolling game

8 language arts sheets:
describing an apple
label cut and paste
upper and lowercase shorting cut and paste
writing a sentence
matching lower and uppercase

3 literacy centers:
sorting capitol and lowercase letters
what comes before and after a letter 
clothes pin matching upper and lowercase letters

1 math center:
count the seeds and match it to the number

1 emergent reader

Click {HERE} to purchase!

Here are some pictures of the centers included in the apple unit:

Sort the upper and lowercase letters.

Clip the matching letters and worksheet to use as an assessment or extra practice.

Math center to count the seeds and match them to the number on the basket.

Picture of some of the sheets included in the apple unit!

I hope this is something that you can use with your students!  Click HERE to visit my TPT Store to pick one up!

Ole! Cacti anyone??

I am officially teaching summer school.  The theme of the summer is "Countries Around the World."  This week we are learning about Mexico.  I made a Mini Unit on Mexico that you can purchase at my TPT Store.  

This mini pack includes 12 sheets:
-compare and contrast
-vocab matching cut and paste
-sheet to draw and write about the flag
-sheet to list favorite Mexican foods
-sheet to describe how Mexican food tastes
-sheet to brainstorm about Mexico
-ABC order practice
-roll dice and color number
-counting "jumping beans"
-cactus craft

Here is a sample of the cactus craft.  I made come cacti, and then added dried rice to make the little thorns (are they called thorns?)
We talked about "jumping beans" and how in Mexico they also cook with beans.  I made a worksheet that the students could count and glue down different beans according to the number in the box.

The students were also able to practice counting and number recognition by rolling the dice and coloring that number.  The kids I am teaching this summer are going into Jr. K or Kindergarten next year.  This type of activity is great for these ages!

I also found a Mexican flag that I printed off Google images for the students to sponge paint.  Because the students are so young, I wanted to introduce a simple part of the country first.  A flag is something tangible and that they could see, so I thought it would be a great place to start.  We compared and contrasted it with the American flag.  Here are some pictures of them sponge painting the Mexican flag.  (If it was the middle of Kindergarten, I would have them cut it out, and write a couple sentences about the flag too.)

I also want to show you a great activity pack that A Cupcake for the Teacher made.  I made the adorable sombrero craft with my students.  There was only one problem.  We were out of the right colored instead of traditional Mexican colors, we made pastel sombreros.  (I know, but this was one of those moments where I had something in my mind, and I was refusing to be flexible...)

Next week we are learning about Greece...wish me luck! :)  Visit my TPT Store for more goodies! :)

Nominated??!! :)

Well, yipeeee!  I was so excited to find an email saying I was nominated for a blog award!  Apparently followers and friends can vote starting June 25 and ending July 2.  I will report back with more details of how to vote later. :)

AND another exciting thing happened yesterday, THIS:

Our school fundraised, and all of the teachers got an ipad!  We get to take them home this summer, learn how to use them, and find good apps to use in the classroom.  I am a Mac girl, so it will be fun for me!  :)  

What apps do you suggest for me to use to stay organized in the classroom and do use with my kinder students??!!  

What a fun start to the week!

Time for a SHOUT OUT!

I just want to say I am so excited for my lovely friend, Hadar, at Miss Kindergarten for being nominated for the Really Good Classroom Blog Contest.  We were actually at lunch yesterday (and Kristin too!) when she realized she was nominated and it was fun to see her smiling face. :)  She is noinated, along with so many other inspiring blogs!  You can vote for several different categories, but you can only vote once!  Make sure you click {HERE} to head over and vote! :)

Voting ends June 22!

Kindergarten Graduation Play

I am excited to show a couple of photos of the props from our kindergarten version of Eric Carle's, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Our school puts on a kindergarten graduation ceremony at the end of the year.  Since I was the only kindergarten teacher, I got to choose the theme!  Last year, we did an adorable reading of Leo Lionni's, Swimmy.  This year, I decided to do a reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Not all of the students can be shown in photos on the internet, so I can't post actual pictures from the graduation, but I can show pictures of the beautiful props that my friend Kristen made!

I typed out the words from the story and divided it among 8 students to be our readers.  Other students had the part of carrying a prop across the stage as the story was being read.  In between some of the readings, we sang a couple of songs about caterpillars and butterflies!  Here are the props from the play!

Little egg on a leaf.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The fruit.

All of the junk food.

The leaf that made him feel much better. :)

The big, fat, caterpillar.


 The beautiful butterfly.

The photos don't show how big the props are.  The butterfly is as big as a 5 year old.  Each prop is really big, so the kids looked adorable trying to carry it across stage.  :)  To make them, we used our projector to shine the book's illustrations onto the board where we traced them.  My co-worker, Kristen is so talented when it comes to anything creative.  She was the mastermind behind the painting, and of course,   GLITTER!

Before our play, I was able to use my Butterfly Life Cycle Unit to teach about the life cycle.  Check it out in my TpT Store!

I have to show you the gift that one of my parent's made that made me feel so loved, and something that I will treasure forever...

She made a beautiful quilt of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!  I almost died because it was so thoughtful and so special to this class!

She printed out all of the words to the story on special fabric that you can print on! 

All of the children signed the back of the quilt, so I will remember each and everyone of them. :)

Here is another sweet treat that my best friend left on my desk the last day of school.  She said the owls were supposed to be us. :)  I have had the joy and privilege of working with one of my best friends the last two years.  She teaches 3rd and I teach kinder and it makes my day so much more fun getting to see her every day. :)

And I had to post this hilarious/creepy picture of me jumping in the jumper with my class at the end of the year picnic.  I lasted about 10 minutes and then I felt like I was gonna puke...

Happy summer!  Tomorrow I start summer school.... wee! ;)