Back to School Gift with Udderly Smooth

I am partnering with Udderly Smooth to show you a back to school gift idea for your teaching team!  I love giving my teammates a small gift at the beginning of the year to encourage them the first day of school and to let them know I'm excited to work with them!


Back to School Pencil Buddy Freebie

On the first day of school, I love having a little treat on the students' desks.  Often times, they are nervous for the first day, so when they see the small gift they feel welcomed!  You can grab this Back to School Pencil Buddy in my TpT Store!


Next Year- Big CHANGES!

I have an exciting and BIG announcement!  This last year has been a wild one for me.  I have been juggling motherhood (my baby is one in August 2016), family and friends, teaching, blogging, TpT-ing, blogging for Oriental Trading, etc.  My plate has been too full, but it's full with things that I love.

Originally when I went back to work after having my son, I was really enjoying being a teacher and a mom (you can read my reflection here).  I was able to keep my identity as a working mom, and I loved coming home to my little man.  As the school year went on, it became apparent to us (my husband and I) that something had to give.  I couldn't do it all.  It's been disappointing that I can't balance everything gracefully, because like I said, I love all of my different passions/responsibilities.

Then it happened.  God literally paved the way for me to share a teaching contract with one of my real life best friends Layla from Fancy Free in Fourth.  Did you notice her blog title?  I will be teaching 4th grade with her!  (ok don't freak out yet, let me tell you more!)  I will work Thursdays and Fridays, and she will work Mon-Wednesday.  We are BEYOND excited.  This means I get to stay in the classroom, but have more time to raise my baby and work on my other projects.

I want to share some facts about Layla:
1.  She is the queen of inside jokes.
2.  Her love language is giving gifts.  
3.  She is amazing during interviews. (like, she will for sure get the job)
4.  She is insanely creative and an amazing 4th grade teacher.  I really am blessed to learn from one of my best friends.  One thing I love about teaching is that you can teach a different grade and it's like changing careers.  Not completely, but it's a whole different world.  To get to work with her is a dream come true.  (sorry for the tangent on that one)
5.  She will for sure steal toothpaste. (I threw in an inside joke cause she loves them)
6. Ryan's earring (another inside joke)

If you have been following my blog you might remember that I randomly taught 4th grade a couple years back.  It was out of the blue, and I went right back to Kindergarten after that year.  That one random year really made this shared contract possible.  It gave me experience and credibility to step into Layla's classroom ready to teach and collaborate.  This is one of the few times in life that I've been able to look back and recognize why things happened the way they did.

I am really sad to leave Kindergarten, but I know it is only temporary.  And I am excited to sacrifice my love for kinder to get to spend more time with my little man.

So what does this mean for my blog?  I plan on actually having time to share content!  I have a laundry list of blog posts I never had time to write, and well as resources that never made it to TpT.  You can expect to still see primary ideas, but I'm sure 4th grade ideas will slip through as well.

Thank you for taking time to read my blog and staying with me through life's transitions.  Don't worry Kindergarten, I'll be back.


Sight Words in Kindergarten

It is always difficult teaching sight words to students.  I want to share with you a couple of ideas on how to engage students in memorizing sight words!  I find that the more ways I can get the students to interact with the words, the quicker they memorize them.

I like to make little sight word cards to use in a variety of different ways.  I make them at the beginning of the year, laminate them, and we use them all year long.  This is a simple idea of using a cookie try and magnetic letters to build the words.  The students grab a card, and write out the word using the letters.

Students love writing words in sand.  To make the sand box, I put a piece of blue paper at the bottom of a pencil box, then I poured in a thin layer of sand on top.  The students take a pencil and write in the sand using the eraser end.  You don't need to put a piece of paper in the bottom of the pencil box, but I wanted the bottom of the box to POP when the students were writing in the sand.

One of my favorite sensory activities is making a sensory shaker.  I used a paint cup from Lakeshore, pom poms, and wooden cubes that I wrote sight words on them.  The students shake the cup, see a word inside, and write down the word the see!

 I created a Sight Word Printable pack to help teach students certain words that we are working on each week.   The best part?  I just added an EDITABLE PowerPoint so you can make your own words!  The editable version is included in the bundle, which has 75 words already!  You can also purchase 1 of 3 packs if you don't want the bundle.  Check out the details HERE.

Here is what the worksheets look like:  I wanted to make them with several different activities to practice the word.  The students can write, color, trace, circle, and cut and paste the word!

My students also love using paint dabbers (sold at most craft stores, target, teacher stores).  I printed off the words in bubble font, and the students stamp the inside of the word!

I also created a "Dab the Sight Word" activity on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Each page focuses on one word, and the students dab all the words on that page!

Good luck teaching sight words in your class!