Google Adsense

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Blogs

First of all, I would just like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. I hope that 2012 brings you all your wishes and dreams and more!

Secondly, for the record, Twitter is awesome, but a little too addicting sometimes. I find myself coming across so many new bloggers that I just have to follow. Then the process begins: follow the blog, follow them on Twitter, like their page on Facebook, follow their Pinterest boards, and if I like them enough add their blog button to my Blog Love page (if you are not on there yet, please don't be offended, I promise I am working on it!) and add them to my #FF list. Whew... It is tiring just saying all that! Anyways, I am thankful for all my awesome bloggy buddies and their very innovative ideas.

So, here are the new blogs I have found just tonight:

No Time For Flash Cards
Just click it and you'll see the awesomeness of this blog.
Wow, so many categories and I love that you can search by age.

Projects galore! Anything and everything to do with art can be found here.

This will take you to A Mommy's Adventure. I love the feature where you can 
link up a story and art project that you did. I will have to start linking up!

From books to crafts to activities, this blog is all about kids learning through play.

So many fun ideas. Kids will love exploring all the activities on this blog.

(I'm just thrilled I got this post done this year!!!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thinky Linky Thursday: Light Box

I know by now, we've all seen the homemade light tables on other blogs or Pinterest, so I decided since I had some time and some extra Christmas lights laying around, I would finally make one. Mine has blue lights. I think the baby had fun playing with it!

Some ideas I was thinking about using with the light table are of course, the clear colorful pattern blocks, putting roads drawn on paper over it and driving little cars on it, and making those crayon shaving wax paper art where you iron it to melt the shavings or some tissue paper "stained glass" art and putting it on top to see how the light shines through it. So many possibilities! 

Also, please tell your friends about Thinky Linky Thursday. We have not been getting many links recently! Thanks!!!

Preschool Teacher

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 3 Blog Posts of 2011

Here are my top 3 blog posts of 2011. If 2012 continues the same way with followers, I should be doing great this time next year. Keep your fingers crossed!

I did this as a guest post for the blog formerly known as Frogs, Bees & Under the Seas, now Playing with Pixie Dust. The post includes Halloween activities.

This was our Eric Carle- Very Hungry Caterpillar board.

This post won by a landslide with 637 pageviews!

I'm linking up to:

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the giveaway, chosen using is....

Lucky number 29 is Beth Ann from Taming My Flock of Firsties! Congratulations and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Wishlist Wednesday: Read Write Sing

Here is today's guest blogger from Read Write Sing. There are so many incredible ideas on her blog, you need to stop by and check it out!

I teach full-day kindergarten in a Christian school; we have a class limit of fifteen-- amazing, right?! The low student-teacher ratio is a blessing, but my number one wish is to have a larger class. At the moment, my class size is ten. There are days when I feel like a mother to a set of sextuplets and a set of quadruplets!

With a small class, familiarity can be a detriment. A few extremely vocal students have snappy tempers. They would like to have their own desks and work spaces--in other words, they would rather not share! As second semester begins, I am planning opportunities for this group to celebrate each other's talents and accomplishments. I will model the art of conversation with more thoughtfulness and deliberation. There is a possibility that I will change their table seats every other week, not every week, thus providing them with a longer period in which to learn cooperation.

Birth order dynamics have played a major part in our class dramas. In my group of ten, seven children are first-borns (five of these are "onelies"), two children are the youngest in their families with older siblings spanning more than six years, and one child is the youngest in his family. To see the whole picture, you need to know that nine of my students are girls...and that baby of the family?...he is the boy. I'm considering getting a master's degree after finishing this school year! :-)

In addition to a few more students (boys, please!), I am wishing for creative ways to promote patience, self-control, and lovingkindness. The Christmas break has given me much-needed time to pray for my students, to reflect on the joy they bring to each day. May 2012 be filled with dreams come true for all of you! Thanks, Lori, for allowing me to share my thoughts!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Motivational Monday

I do realize it is Monday and Monday is almost over. I am slacking, but here it is, a little something to continue motivating you as if the holiday season was not enough :)

Source: via Cachey on Pinterest

Also, just to let you all know, I got my wish from my very own Wishlist Wednesday post a while back, a Cricut Expression for Christmas from my hubby! I am so excited to start making projects and anxious to share with you all the awesome ideas I have for using it for the classroom!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Storytime Sunday: Christmas

What a perfect day for Storytime Sunday! This is the day we celebrate the beginning of the best story ever told. The day Jesus was born. There are plenty of children’s books that tell the story and I’m sure you can find them easily by searching, so I am going to talk about a couple of things from church this morning that I thought you might find interesting.

First, we sang the song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Here are the words:

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
‘For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.’

Til ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I learned today that the song is from a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow after his wife had died in an accidental fire and his son was severely wounded in battle. I love that after he talks about how hate is so strong, which it’s difficult not to see in the world, that he says the bells got more loud and deep and how the world revolved from night to day and how wrong shall fail and right prevail. This song encourages me that there is hope in the world, no matter how bad things seem to get, if you only trust in Jesus, the Savior. Have you ever felt like you encountered some kind of a sign or a feeling that gave you hope or made or think things were going to get better or be ok? I just think of the star on that Christmas night and what Mary must have felt. She must have had so much faith in God to trust that everything was going to be ok. It’s like in the song, when all of a sudden the bells sounded so much louder and clearer that they had a meaning and purpose if only to the writer of the song.

I also like a couple of things that were in the bulletin. The first is some Christmas reminders. You always hear at Christmas time, you need to keep CHRIST in Christmas, but with all the hustle and bustle this time of year, it is sometimes difficult to know how to do it. I think keeping the spirit of Christmas is not something that takes effort, only thinking about what you are doing and why you are doing it. It’s not to say we need to stop doing all of the secular traditions of Christmas, but to think of the reason why the tradition came about. Here are some ideas:

  • May the Christmas gifts remind you of God’s greatest gift, His only begotten Son.
  • May the Christmas candles remind you of Him who is the “Light of the World.”
  • May the Christmas trees remind you of another tree upon which He died for you.
  • May the Christmas cheer remind you of Him who said “Be of good cheer.”
  • May the Christmas bells remind you of the glorious proclamation of His birth.
  • May the Christmas carols remind you of the song the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest.”
  • May the Christmas season remind you in every way of Jesus Christ your King.

And finally some definitions of Christmas:

  • Christmas is the light that burns eternally. It is a glow that warms the hearts of people wherever the message of “Peace on earth to men of goodwill” is believed.
  • Christmas is peace in a world where people have been alienated from each other by hatred and jealousy.
  • Christmas is love that flows from one heart to another.
  • Christmas is the joy of brotherhood, of giving, of sharing, of lifting, of caring, and of being what Christ wants us to be.
  • Christmas is forgiveness, the time for fresh beginnings, a time to right the wrongs of yesterday.
  • Christmas is giving to those who cannot give to us. It is visiting the neglected, lifting the fallen, giving hope to the hopeless, assuring victory to the defeated, living the spirit of goodwill to all mankind.
  • Christmas is surrender of one’s life to Christ in renewed dedication, making Christ the Lord of our lives. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thinky Linky Thursday: Making Christmas Shopping A Learning Experience

Is this a familiar sight this time of year? For most of us, by this time we are getting a little tired of fighting the crowds just to find that perfect gift for our loved ones. And just think about our children. If you're like me, you may have been dragging your little ones around to all the store with you until they are ready to pass out. But if we take just a little time while we are out to make the trip fun and educational, it can make all the difference. Maybe even become your own family tradition.

0-2 Year Olds: 
  • With this age group, they are taking in everything they see around them. Make a game out of shopping like looking for a particular item and whoever spots it first, gets to choose the next item to look for.
  • For younger children who aren't speaking much yet, teaching them new vocabulary is a great idea while you are going around to places and seeing things they don't see everyday. Point something out and repeat the word a few times. 
  • Make a game out of waving at people, of course only the ones who are friendly enough to initiate the interaction themselves or people who work at the store like the cashier. Teach your child to say hi, bye, and other polite greetings.

3-5 Year Olds:

  • Signs are a great learning tool. Have your child point out letters or numbers they know on the sign, especially letters that are in their own name. Let them compare the different types of writing they see on the signs. Talk about the difference between capital and lower case letters.
  • Sing a song. In the car, maybe in the store depending on the atmosphere of the store you're in. Let the children choose songs they like, but also add in some with rhyming words, ABCs or counting.
  • Have the kids help you make a list before you go to the store. Some of them may even be able to help you write down some of the words. Give each person an item they are responsible for finding in the store such as a gift they will be giving a grandparent. This will help keep them on task so they don't get bored as quickly and distracted by that brand new toy that Santa already got them.
  • Talk about safety in the parking lot and have them tell you some safety rules they already know such as look both ways before crossing the street.

Older Children:
  • Get them involved in the shopping. Maybe even give them some money (unless they already have their own). Pull out the calculator (or smart phone) and have them do some math. Adding and subtracting the amounts things cost to see how much the total cost will be and how much will be left over. Have them estimate what they think the total will come to. 

  • Measure distances between things or how long an aisle is using footsteps. (Not recommended in a crowded store)
  • Compare prices on different brands of a product by looking at the 'per unit' pricing label. 
  • Talk about caring and sharing. See if they can come up with a way to help people who are less fortunate. Offer to let them choose a gift to buy for Toys for Tots or some other organization or encourage them to save their own money to buy an item to donate. Have them put some change in Salvation Army's bell ringers bucket. You could even have them go through some of their old toys, clothes, etc and choose a charity to donate them to.

Happy Shopping!

Preschool Teacher

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday: Ms. Preppy

This week's guest blogger is Caitlin from Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polkadots. I love Caitlin's insights into teaching and the wonderful activities on her blog. Many of them can be purchased at very reasonable prices from her TpT store and they are adorable! Be sure to stop by and take a look.

Hey guys!  I am so excited to be guest posting over here at Cachey Mama's Classroom!  I'm sure everyone is crazy busy right now trying to wrap up last minute gifts and going to parties and maybe you're even still teaching {if so, my heart goes out to you.  We got out of school yesterday and that was rough enough!}.  By this time of year, we are all too familiar with wishlists.  We've made them with our students, with our children {if you have them}, and maybe we've even made one.  Today I'm going to share the top 5 things on my wishlist for my classroom:
5-A limitless supply of construction paper!  We have to order our own at the beginning of the year and I'm nearly out.  If there weren't so many stinkin' cute projects floating around blogland, I wouldn't need so much construction paper!
4- A spare printer cartridge.  Am I the only one who works in a school where it seems to take an act of congress to get ink?  We aren't allowed to order new ink until our current cartridge is completely empty.  Makes zero sense.  I can understand not keeping a ton in stock, but can't we have a few on hand?  Especially since they always seem to run out around report card time...
3- A cloud.  In my shoes.  My feet ache by Wednesday.  I need to find some shoes that are a little more comfy.  I'm just not ready to sacrifice style for comfort yet.  Cute, but comfortable shoe suggestions are welcome.
2- A pellet ice machine.  Oh how I love some good pellet ice, like Sonic ice. refreshing.  I wish I had my own personal machine in my classroom.  Instead, I have to walk ALL THE WAY upstairs {well, it's not really upstairs it's more like upramp, but everyone calls it "upstairs".  Either way, it's just too far.}.
1- Another me.  I have 30 kindergartners, 28 first graders, and 25 second graders.  I need another me.  They need another me.  Can you imagine how much more could be accomplished if I could divide and conquer with another teacher?  Aahhh... I'm dreaming now.  But it would be so nice.  So nice. I hope you all get at least a little something off your wishlist on Sunday!  Merry Christmas and I hope you'll stop by sometime and visit me over at Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hot Cocoa Craft and Cheeseball Recipe

Here is a craft I made for the neighbors and as a grandparents gift from the baby. I got this idea from here, but I did mine a little differently. I didn't use pieces of fabric. I just printed out lables with the instructions and glued it on and I used mini candy canes as well. Also, instead of buying the hot cocoa mix and marshmallows separately, I just bought the kind that already has marshmallows in it. I think they turned out ok, except I didn't actually measure the hot cocoa, so I hope it's not too much.

Here are the labels I made and printed out:

I thought I would also include a ham cheeseball recipe that my family makes every year at Christmas. Usually with leftover ham, but I had some already, so I decided to go ahead and make it early.

1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 cups ground cooked ham
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Beat cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Cover; chill several hours. Form into ball; roll in nuts to coat. Serve with crackers. 

I like mine better without the nuts, but it's up to you. Plus, I don't always make mine into a ball. This time, I just put it into my Christmas frog dish and used it like a spread. Hope you enjoy!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, December 19, 2011

Motivational Monday

There is a new teacher blogger out there that you all need to stop by and follow. I found Mary from The Artistry of Education through Teaching Blog Addict.

The Artistry of Education

This week I am using a quote from a post she did:

"Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen." Horace Mann

I like this quote because far too many times I am the person who is waiting to see what will happen, but I hope this inspires you to go out there and make something positive happen!

Storytime Sunday: More Farm

Ok, I know I have been a slacker this weekend. It is technically Monday when I am posting this. Please forgive me. Anyways, we have been studying pets and farm animals the last few weeks. I have been getting the idea that there were still a few things my kids were not understanding about the farm. For example, they know about specific animals and barns, but I'm not sure if they know about what a real farm looks like and the names for some of the baby animals. Here are some books I found in my personal library that I thought would be helpful for them.
This story is great because it explains in detail what the farm looks like and what all the animals do on the farm. It tells about the sounds the animals make and some things that grow in the fields. It has colors, counting, and rhyming and it goes through the whole day from morning to night. There are a lot of descriptive words and vocabulary.

Next is a book about a boy who lives on a farm in Mexico and takes care of the animals. I especially love this one because it is going to be an awesome transition into our study about countries and cultural diversity. It has some simple words in Spanish and tells 5 stories about different animals and each one has a riddle that Ramon makes up about the silly actions of the animals. I know the children will love this one!

A very simple book with large print and very few words, this tells the name for each adult and baby animal.

And last is a simple reader that introduces the sight words "a, big and little" and other words "chair, sheep, three and white." Kids will enjoy reading this all by themselves!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway!

Wow! I am completely blown away to see that I have over 100 followers. I was just looking back at a post on August 20 where I promised to have this giveaway when I reached 100 and at that time, less that 4 months ago, I only had 17 followers. I would like to sincerely thank all of you for following and reading my blog! I heart you all and please keep leaving comments. I love your feedback!

I have 2 awesome teacher bloggers who have graciously agreed to donate an item from their TpT shops for this giveaway! I am so excited and you should be too. They have some really fantastic products. In addition, I will also be giving away a $20 Target gift card!

First is Erica from Erica Bohrer's First Grade

Erica's TpT store, with over 100 items, includes activities in all subject areas and for all grades from pre-K to high school. There are units on great books such as Pete the Cat and If you Give a Mouse a Cookie. She also has tons of reading and writing resources. 

The second is Barbie from Really Roper Kindergarten blog

Barbie's TpT store has great literacy items. I especially love her collection of word wall word sets. She sells games, daily schedules and book activties. There is an assortment of wonderful choices!

So on to the giveaway! The winner will be receiving one item of your choice from each of the 2 above mentioned TpT stores AND a $20 Target gift card! Giveaway ends at midnight on Christmas night, December 25! Here are the ways to enter:
FIRST, you must be a follower of this blog to even enter. You must leave your e-mail address on at least one of your entry comments.

1. Follow Erica's TpT store and comment about an item you like.
2. Follow Barbie's TpT store and comment about an item you like.
3. "Like" Cachey Mama's Classroom on Facebook and comment saying you have done so.
4. Follow me on Twitter @Cacheymama and comment with your Twitter name.

BONUS: 2 entries (leave 2 separate comments) if you write a blog post about this giveaway mentioning AND linking to the 2 TpT stores above: Erica Bohrer and Barbie Roper. Leave the URL of your blog post in one of the comments.

Good luck and don't forget, the rules for my giveaways are posted here.