Gingerbread Giveaways & Sale!

It's here! It's here! It's finally time to teach my Gingerbread theme! This is probably my favorite theme of the year! So much fun and a perfect excuse to eat cookies! Honestly, I think I have more gingerbread books than any 3 other themes combined - so many I'll be reading multiple versions each day just to get them all in before Christmas Break!

We'll be doing a bunch of gingerbread stuff with math too - of course the prerequisite graphing activities - which part of the gingerbread man did you bite first, do you like gingerbread yes or no, have you ever made a gingerbread house etc.  I can't wait to hear what my little pre-k friends have to say about gingerbread! This year, I even made some awesome readers to practice some of our early math skills while still giving us exposure to print concepts, rhyming and sequencing.
There are 4 readers in this pack:

Where Is Gingie? - an interactive positional word reader. Just attach the little gingerbread picture with a piece of yarn and students can practice putting him in the correct position on each page!

What Shape? - includes color words and the following shapes: circle, triangle, rectangle, square, rhombus, trapezoid, cylinder and cube. This one gives double practice with reading/identifying color words and identifying basic shapes.

5 Little Cookies - My students love stories like these - it's rhyme intensive, and repetitious, so they pick it up quickly, plus there's the basic subtraction factor as each little cookie runs away. You can print out the equations if you want to introduce the minus and equal sign with your littles too!

5 Cookies On A Tray - One of the skills we have to teach is ordinal numbers, even though OK doesn't really have a math standard to match it - it's one of those "introduce as you can" things lol. Although we hit it orally during calendar time, this reader will give them written word exposure!

The readers print two to a sheet to cut down on paper costs, and I even made word strips and sequencing pictures so you can print them out and put them in a pocket chart! Generally I introduce the story in a pocket chart and have students practice reading it for a few days before we do the reader.  With 4 readers we'll be set from now until Christmas! (we get out Dec 19th!)

This pack is on sale for 40% off until midnight (I generally discount everything I put on TPT for the first day, so you might want to follow my store to get notifications of new products!) You can also head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win the pack!

Speaking of giveaways, this one ends tonight and you could win a ton of fun winter packs including my Gingerbread Skills Pack! Enter here!
http://adventures-inteaching.blogspot.com/2014/11/firstie-friends-winter-giveaway.html

And, starting tomorrow, my entire store will be on sale 20% off for the Cyber Monday (& Tuesday) TPT sale! Use code  TPTCYBER for an extra 10% off the sale price for a total of 28% off!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Jennifer-Knopf

Adorable Turkey Hats & Positional Words!

Woot! I'm on Thanksgiving Break for 5 days! Now, I love my pre-k kiddos - they are the 20 most adorable, funny AND fun children and I enjoy every day spent with them, but I am REALLY looking forward to spending time with my own 5 children!

First though, I have to share some major goodness with you:

We made Turkey hats from paper plates (I saw this pin and just winged it). I was able to make this a math assessment as well since the children painted their feathers in a pattern. I'm happy to say that ALL of them were able to sustain a pattern for the whole plate - some created an AB pattern, but I had a couple of over achievers who went for the ABCD pattern and rocked it :)

In the interest of time, I gave them pre-cut pieces for everything but the head - I figured they needed a bit of circle cutting practice. I considered going with googly eyes, but figured they'd have more personality if I gave the children black markers:)

Here's a picture taken at the end of the day - as you can see quite a few kiddos left early yesterday! The hats were adorable and the kids loved them. They even wore them while working:
We created our "Where Is Turkey" reader yesterday. I ended up laminating the turkey pieces to make them extra durable and the kids were sooo excited! I have 2 home laminators - one is actually at home and the other is in my classroom for those emergency laminating jobs like this. Our school laminator is out of lamination and has been since about the 2nd week of school. We won't be getting any more until next August, so my home laminators come in handy and its nice that I can help out Sam's Club with my lamination purchases  ;P

This is a positional word book, so when the students "read" each page they get to place Turkey in the correct position. Huge hit and I'm already planning a gingerbread version!

In the afternoon we headed down the hall to the 4th grade class, wearing our turkey hats, and sang  "5 Little Turkeys" from The Learning Station. My class is the cutest bunch of singers - they really ham it up and perform, so I try to make sure we get a chance to do a little something each week. I usually just use my cell phone to play the song, but, even when I turn it up as loud as possible, its hard to hear. I also use my phone in the hallway a lot - during bathroom breaks or when there are unexpected delays in the breakfast or lunch line. Expecting 4 and 5 year olds to stand quietly for more than a couple of minutes is just asking for trouble, so I pull up a song or video on my phone and keep them entertained and learning. Again though, it's usually hard for everyone to hear properly.

Imagine how excited I was when our music teacher showed me this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C5AWLU0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00C5AWLU0&linkCode=as2&tag=herdkatsinkin-20&linkId=NYJ3AMCJYN2VGAL6
It's an HMDX Wireless Speaker! I just set my phone to the bluetooth setting and it automatically picked it up. It had a clear sound and it gets plenty loud enough for using in the hallway or the classroom or even for performances at our assemblies! It works up to 30 feet away and has a 4 hour rechargeable battery life! I am in LOVE! It's only $19, so it's one of those little purchases that I can justify because it will make my life so much easier - I'd much prefer my kiddos be learning and singing while waiting in line than have to harp on them to keep still and not touch the person in front of them etc. (Just so you know, if we get stuck behind certain classes in the breakfast or lunch line it is a GUARANTEED ten minute wait! I'm not sure HOW they manage to stretch it out that long, but for some reason certain classes take 3 times as long to get their trays than other classes. Ten idle minutes is a lifetime for pre-k kids!)

Alright, I have to go put my turkey in the brining solution (my husband wanted to fry our turkey this year and since I don't want my house burning down I convinced him to try brining the turkey instead) And yes, I'm aware that frying a turkey can be done safely and easily, but  most likely not with my husband present (as much as I love him I have to be honest!) Please cross your fingers that it turns out well, then we can set the yearly turkey frying argument to rest once and for all :P

I'll leave you with this: the cutest Thanksgiving outfit ever! Why don't they make these for adults?!

Turkey Activities! Plus Gingerbread Giveaway!

This week we've had a lot of fun, learning about Thanksgiving and playing with our Terrific Turkey Math & Literacy Centers!

Some of my kiddos are still working on number recognition. so these activities were perfect for them:

My students love puzzles, so this one was great fun and it helped them practice both number recognition and rote counting to 10!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Terrific-Turkey-Math-Literacy-Center-Time-Activity-Pack-1561687
 They also love any activity with rolling a dice, and this game gives them practice with both recognizing numbers 1-6 as well as one-to-one correspondence!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Terrific-Turkey-Math-Literacy-Center-Time-Activity-Pack-1561687
We've been working on positional words, so this activity was fun in whole group and then it moved to a center time activity. In whole group I alternated between calling students up to place a piece in the position I dictated ("Put the turkey on top of the barn") and arranging the pieces and then having students use positional words to describe where an animal is ("The cow is between the farmers") Actually being able to use the positional words in a sentence is a harder skill for them than just placing the pieces in the correct place, so its good to practice both!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Terrific-Turkey-Math-Literacy-Center-Time-Activity-Pack-1561687
This activity was great for my kiddos who are still iffy on all of their colors (I had a bunch that knew only 3-4 colors at the beginning of the year and they still get a few confused). Since I used different size pom poms, and included a variety of amounts, we were able to go a step further with the students who were ready for it by sorting the different color pom poms by size and then also identifying which color pom poms had the most and least.
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Terrific-Turkey-Math-Literacy-Center-Time-Activity-Pack-1561687
Again, give them something to roll and my kids are all for it! I absolutely love this game because it gives them practice identifying shape names AND finding them in different orientations and sizes.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Terrific-Turkey-Math-Literacy-Center-Time-Activity-Pack-1561687
I don't do a lot of paper/pencil activities, but every once in a while we do a cut & paste sheet because the kids like them and it gives them good fine motor practice. This sheet also gave them some one-to-one correspondence practice plus number recognition! As you can see, I'm not picky about what color is used, but I do watch out for correct crayon grip :)

We got to sing Dr. Jean's Albuquerque Turkey song at our Friday assembly which was a big hit. We're also working on learning our "5 Little Turkey" poem which I wrote myself! I created pocket chart cards for it and wrote it out on sentence strips, to give up practice reading from top to bottom and left to right. Next week we'll color and take home the reader and hopefully my kiddos will get a lot of practice reading it to family members over Thanksgiving!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Terrific-Turkey-Math-Literacy-Center-Time-Activity-Pack-1561687

Next week we only have 2 days of school, so we're going to create our "Where Is Turkey?" positional word reader, and do some fun Turkey crafts! I'm torn between coffee filter turkeys, milk carton turkeys or handprint turkeys. What is your go-to Thanksgiving craft project?

After Thanksgiving we're jumping into our Gingerbread Theme! I just created this Gingerbread Alphabet Match-Up game that has students matching both upper and lower case letters as well as beginning sound pictures!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Gingerbread-Themed-Alphabet-Match-Up-1573201
If you'd like a chance to win it, stop by my Facebook page and enter here! I'll pick a winner at 10pm!

Alright, time to start cleaning up - I have visitors coming for Thanksgiving and way not enough time to get ready! Have a fabulous Saturday!

Bright Ideas Roound-Up!



Woot! It's time for the the November edition of the Bright Ideas Link-Up! This one is a special one! 

Over the past 10 months, we have shared thousands of great ideas through our monthly Bright Ideas event. This month, we’re re-capping all of those great ideas, just incase you missed any! Below you will find some of my bright ideas from the past several months:

My husband made me the best pocket chart stands from pvc and shower curtain hooks! You can read about them here:
http://www.herdingkats.blogspot.com/2014/06/bright-ideas-blog-hop-shower-curtain.html

An anti-chaos bag is a must-have! Be proactive in preparing for all those little annoyances that can put a damper on your day! Read about it here:
http://www.herdingkats.blogspot.com/2014/09/bright-ideas-blog-hop-anti-chaos-bag.html


A fun clean-up game, a great way to get crayon off of practically any surface AND how to easily remove permanent marker were all in this post:
http://www.herdingkats.blogspot.com/2014/07/bright-ideas-for-clean-up.html

Having trouble with hallway behavior? Want to boost sight word recognition? Combine the two with this easy management technique!
http://www.herdingkats.blogspot.com/2014/04/bright-idea-for-managing-hallway.html

Need a way to keep students engaged when counting, sorting and making patterns? Check out this post for an inexpensive answer!
http://www.herdingkats.blogspot.com/2014/03/bright-ideas-blog-hop-inexpensive.html

Here's a bright idea about helping with sight word list organization - when you have students studying multiple lists, its important to streamline the process!
http://www.herdingkats.blogspot.com/2014/05/bright-idea-for-sight-words.html

And finally, check out some classroom management tips - don't be the teacher that gives up in the first 100 days - we all have time to improve until the very last day!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed these bright ideas, and that you have found an idea that you can use in your own classroom. Be sure to check out the link up below for tons more bright ideas from my friends!


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