Friday, August 30, 2013

Beginning the Year with Chaos

Hello friends! I hope all of you are settled in nicely at school or feeling put together enough for the beginning of the year! Not so much for me! The kindergarten rooms are still under construction and school starts Tuesday! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

This is how my room looked earlier this week.
Picture it the same way, but instead of cabinets on the floor
(they are installed) the middle of the room is full of books!
I have tried not to be panicky but the closer to the day it feels the more my anxiety rises! The good news is that I have some fantastic friends and coworkers to lean on and I know we are going to be fine! We have sat down together to prepared the first couple of days and laid out the first couple of weeks. I just wanted to share a couple of books that we are going to be using. I love, love, love picture books but both of this are new to be and I am excited to get my own copies to add to my collection! 

First of all, the veteran kindy-teachers rotate back and forth between using "The Kissing Hand" and "Owen" for the start up. Last year they started with "The Kissing Hand" so this year, we will be starting our first day with the juniors with "Owen" (that will be Thursday because the juniors start two days after the seniors). 

Click on the cover picture to go to Amazon to purchase your own,
or other Kevin Henkes favourites like "Wemberly Worried." 
Owen is a sweet story about a little mouse, named Owen who loves his fuzzy yellow blanket and takes it everywhere. On the first day of school, Owen's mom has an idea to get Owen to school without dragging his blanket along, and she cuts it into a small, manageable square, that he can keep in his pocket! 

After reading this story, the little kidlets will all receive a square of fuzzy blanket to help make them feel safe on their first year of school. One of my colleagues, said some of her little kidlets brought it every day last year. 

The second story that we will be using the second week back, is a new one for all of us, but is something that fits nicely with something I now many teachers do, and that is the hunt around the school for the gingerbread man. 
So, this year, we have a variety of activities planned to go with this great book!

Click on the cover picture above to go to Amazon and purchase your own.
You can also find "The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Firetruck."
We have a whole week of activities to go with this story, but I will go into further detail next week. This week we will be sharing lots of other favourites with the kindies, including these fun stories:

What are some of your favourite reads to kick off the school year?

Monday, August 26, 2013

In the Spirit of Good Deeds...

How fitting it is to write this today, after Nikki at Melonheadz wrote about doing Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) to celebrate her birthday week (she even offered a freebie for her birthday, so make sure you go check it out). 

Here is my first RAK - Remember Mason and his family (see original post by Nikki here or my post here). Well, I e-mailed Nikki with an idea to do more. 

I have decided to sell the products I have been working on for my class (since I can't get into my classroom until it is no longer a construction zone) and ALL of the proceeds will go to Mason and his family.

So here are the items I have to offer.  Keep in mind that almost all of these files are editable, as I know you are not all going to teach kindergarten, or wish to use them the same way as me. 

1) When I Grow Up {inspired by Mason himself ;)}
A Writing Activity for K-6 (not editable)

 This writing activity could be done from Kindergarten through to grade 6, with altered expectations. The pack includes a variety of writing pages, with primary and regular lines. There are some with illustration blocks and ones without. I even included some coloured labels for display and one for a picture or photograph only! 

 I used the circle planner to draw ideas with my grade 3 class and then had them write about their future in paragraphs. Each circle was a stage in their life (as a junior student, intermediate student, in high school and as an adult). They had a lot of fun with this and both pieces went into their scrapbooks for the end of the year!

2) Hello, Goodbye Book
This idea originated from a visit to a kindergarten class at the end of last year. The class had created a hello and goodbye book so the kids could take the attendance and learn each others names. 

All files are editable, but I also included the printable version so photographs could be glued in and names written (it even looks good in grayscale on some coloured paper) if you prefer. As you can see, I also created nameplates (perhaps for a word wall). These would also be great for a writing center or for choosing groups/calling names (can be printed smaller if you print 2 slides at a time).

3) Teacher Attendance Book Companion
This file was created as a companion to the Hello/Goodbye Book. It is a class set of photographs and names (all editable) for the teacher's binder and/or a Supply Teacher binder. I also included a file for notetaking (e.g. listing allergies, helpers, early pick-up, etc.), a Student Information page and a note from supply teacher (just for fun). 

4) Back to School Pack
I am still in the midst of tweaking this one, but it will be complete by tomorrow. This back includes editable files to welcome families back to school and introduce some of the procedures and expectations (especially for the start of the year). It also includes a 1st Day sign for pictures, a poem to send home with parents and an award to sends with students, as well as teacher business cards (see the second picture for the list). 

Some errors, will correct! Should be: gift idea for parents, a poem to send home with students!

You can have all 4 for a donation of $10 or more. 

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and will go towards helping Mason and his family. Remember, every cent you donate will go to Mason! 

Here is all you have to do:

1. Drop your donation of $10.00 into Jamie's paypal. Here's the address for it:

2. Email Jamie at the same email address with your 
confirmation/transaction number for your order, and then she will forward me
 the e-mails and I will send you the files:)

Please allow 48 hours for files to be sent. If you do not receive your files after that, or there are any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me! 

Don't forget to head on over to Melonheadz and tell Nikki about your random acts of kindness. It is her birthday week after all! 

Thank you in advance for your compassion 
and generosity! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Coming Soon

After posting the other day about the fundraiser that my new friend Nikki was having over at Melonheadz, I wanted to be able to help more. Since I have been creating with her work, I wrote to her to see if I could put my items up for sale, and donate any proceeds for the month to Mason and his family. 

Well, she was delighted and even sent me a couple more of her bundles to work on. I have been having a lot of fun creating with these different bundles and so hope you will enjoy them to. Most of the files are editable, because I know that you can find a variety of creative ways to use them. I have even created a file using the mini bundle for Mason and I tell you, it is sweet.  I am not done yet, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek!

Stay tuned! I plan to post by tomorrow and so hope you will like these products and find them useful. Even better, ALL of the money is going to a good cause! Please come back and take a look tomorrow (evening) and see what we can do to help out Mason and his family!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Printing Instructions...if needed!

Hello friends!

As promised, I am providing printing instructions to you for the postcard freebie that I posted the other day. I am not assuming that you don't know how to do this, but I do like instructions to refer back to before printing class sets (and I have to admit that I still messed it up a little) but hopefully these instructions can save you from the same!

You will find the instructions below, but before that, I have some very exciting news to share!  I just received this message from Nikki of Melonheadz Illustrating.  If you don't know her work (I am not sure there is anyone who doesn't because it is everywhere - including everything I make) you have to check her out! Anyway, I feel like I just bumped into a celebrity and she left a message for me!!!!!!  Me!!! Check it out!

I am so excited! Unfortunately for me, it is very late and everyone else is asleep and I don't think they would appreciate a wake-up call to find out Nikki commented on my blog! Thank goodness I have all of you to tell!

Now, doesn't it make you want to print out a set of postcards for your students and share the love? Well here are the printing instructions!  Keep in mind that every printer is different, but this should give you a good basis! 

I printed on cardstock, in order to send these in the mail as postcards! I suggest using a paper cut to cut the postcards evenly in half (mine is packed up at school) and you may wish to trim the border, although it looks fine without trimming as well!

The border around the address section fits around regular Avery Mailing Labels (5160) and looks quite put together. And, as always, it is important to have a good helper with you! I was lucky enough to have this little lady helping me! ;)

Happy Printing!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Please help!

I have been working on my printing instructions for the postcards freebies (see here). My social butterfly (yes, at age 4) received an unexpected sleepover invitation from our past neighbours. They were going to the drive-in to see Smurfs 2 and he was thrilled! 

After getting him together it was time for me to head off to my friend's Hula-Hooping Party. It was a lot of fun but no pictures, because there was nothing graceful about my thrusting moves. It wasn't pretty but it was a workout!

Before heading off to bed, I had to check out some of my favourite blogs and found this important post from Nikki at Melonheadz Illustrating. She is featuring this exclusive bundle for one week to raise funds for Mason.

Mason is 6 months old and in need of a kidney treatment. Please head over to Melonheadz to make a $7.00 donations and receive this exclusive bundle. Remember, you have only one week! I will be back tomorrow to get back to my editing and printing of my postcards post!

When I grow up...I think I want to be a superhero! ;)

"Happy Donating,"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shopping Spree and a Freebie!!!!

This week, I have been did a lot of shopping. Thank you TPT for your B2S Sale! Below are pictures of my purchases. Not only did I purchase these, but I also bought multiple licenses of many of these, to share with my teaching partners. Hold on tight, here we go!
Shout Outs AND Reminders
from Katie at Teacher to the Core
More awards! Couldn't help myself: Thanks Mel
of Frog Spot!
A- Z Poetry! Thank You Karen, at Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten
Patterns Galore! Thank you Hope
of Second Grade Shenanigans!
Sight Word lists for Teachers from Mel at FrogSpot again! :)
Ontario Curriculum "I Can" Standards
by Brittany at Lovely Literacy and More
Organization Binders from Bridget at Little Lovely Learners
As you can see, I love myself some Differentiated Kindergarten and think Marsha is going to be a life-saver for this first year Kindie Teacher Newbie.
I got these to start me off. First a little Back to School Fun
and this...
and this...
Thank you Marsha! Check her out
(like you haven't already) at 

And of course, don't forget the great Prezi Bundles (and freebie) from Carolyn at Holding Hands and Sticking Together, that I wrote about yesterday (you can find it here.) 

So, thanks for hanging in there with me! Here is a B2S Freebie for you! I hope you enjoy! You can print the pages you want as a .pdf, or you can download as a .ppxt to edit. Just click on the picture below to get started!

As you can see, I love Melonheadz as much as
I love a little DifferKinder!

I will come back in the next couple of days to demonstrate how I edit this file and print to mail as a postcard! Please, if you do take a copy and like it, leave me a comment and if you find other creative ways to use this, please share! 

Happy "postcarding,"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Feeling the Love

Even though I am new to this blogging world, and have only made a few new friends (thank you to my handful of followers), I am feeling so loved!

After spending too much stocking up for September Start Up, I went back to TPT for one last look. I had been over at Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together and I knew she was having a sale on her fantastic Prezi bundles. The only reason I did not get one in my first shopping spree (or second) was I still hadn't decided which 3 bundles I wanted. I finally decided and returned for a 3rd visit (shhhh don't tell) and purchased these 3 Prezi bundles.

Carolyn has created 11 different bundles (which you can purchase on TPT, by linking here) but after two shopping sprees, I knew I had to narrow it down. She offers this Back to School Prezi (part of her Fall Bundle) for free! You should go check it out!

So here is the part that makes me feel so special, and so thankful for my new Bloggin' BFF, after e-mailing Carolyn to request a Canadian version of the Back to School prezi, she replied, created and posted a Canadian version already! It is great! It has a few versions of O'Canada, some songs about Canada (a little Stompin' Tom style) and instructions to teach O' Canada in sign language (and the entire sign alphabet) as well as all the other goodies! Whether Canadian or American, go check out these fabulous freebies (Canadian version here and American version here).

I can't wait to use this!!!

Since I am feeling so loved, here is a sneak peek at what I am working on for all of you! It should be ready for tomorrow (when I will be back to share all of my other great TPT purchases). 

Please come back tomorrow to check it out!

Yours in bloggin' love, 

Jackie (a.k.a. Ms.M)

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