Monthly Archives

August 2016

Back to School: Parent Appreciation Gift

It is back-to-school season for many teachers! As we are busy preparing for the upcoming school year and getting our rooms ready, it is important to not forget about the caring, supportive parents of our students!

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In order to foster positive relationships, I believe that open communication among the teacher, students, and parents is important. After all, communication in the classroom defines the learning process, and it is necessary to communicate in order to influence learning. This gift idea is the perfect way to show your students’ parents that they are teachers too, and that you appreciate all the work they do at home with their child!

I love Laura Kelly’s Sizzix Bigz Die – Apple #2 that she made for Ellison Education! This die makes cutting out apples a breeze! Let’s grab our supplies and get started!

Supplies:
Sizzix Bigz Die – Apple #2
– Sizzix Bigz Die Set – Badges (4 Die Set)
– Sizzix Bigz Die Set – Pet Shop Flashcards (4 Die Set)
– White cardstock
– Scrapbooking paper
– Adhesive roller
– Felt and or colored card stock
– Googly Eyes
– Colored pencils, markers, or crayons (Optional)
X-acto Knife
FREE: “Parents are teachers, too” Printable

I used my Ellison SuperStar Machine to die cut the Sizzix Bigz Die – Apple #2 from felt. Using the Sizzix Bigz Die Set – Pet Shop Flashcards (4 Die Set), die cut the snake from the set using felt or card stock. Add googly eyes and a mouth to your worm. I used an X-acto knife to cut a slit into the apple for the worm. This makes a great craft for your students to do on the first day of school and bring home to their parents!

Print out the printable and adhere it to some colorful scrapbooking paper or card stock. This gives it a nice border and makes it stand out. My favorite part about the FREE “Teachers are parents, too” printable is that it comes with a black and white lined version. Have your students color the apple and make it their own!

Laura Kelly has some amazing card kits that are also perfect for giving to your colleagues, principal, or as a thank you card for those beginning of the year gifts. Check out The Laura Kelly Shop for all her back-to-school products! My favorite is this back-to-school card kit!

Personalize your cards by adding a special message. Homemade cards are so much more meaningful and they are great for your students to create, too!

Have a fantastic school year and don’t forget: An apple for a teacher is really nothing new, except when you remember, parents are teachers, too!

Follow Directions Activity: Delicious Dirt Cups

As a kindergarten teacher, I always try to create a learning environment that is engaging, interactive, and inspiring for my kindergarten students.

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With all the new mandates and standards it is difficult to find time to allow my students to learn through play. However, I always try to design my lessons with one thing in mind: What we learn becomes a part of who we are. This dirt cup sequencing and following directions activity is a great activity to start the school year! I always use The Baker’s Party Shop for all my baking essentials! Let’s grab our supplies and get started!

What You’ll Need:
Party Pastel Rainbow Ice Cream Cups: Stripe
Party Pastel Rainbow Nonpareil Sprinkles
– Oreos
– Instant Chocolate Pudding
– Gummy Worms
– Milk
– Melting Chocolate
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
FREE Printable: Dirt Cup Sequencing Cards

The ability to follow directions, especially oral, multi-step ones, is an important kindergarten skill. It can also be a difficult skill for kids to master and often requires a lot of practice. I always start the year off with explaining the importance of following directions. This activity is a great way to show the importance of following directions! However, before I start my activity I always read a story!

1. Diary of a Worm

One of my favorite stories to read with this activity is Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. This is a great way to get students excited about creating dirt cups! 

2. Modeling

Before I allow my students to create their dirt cups, I always model what is expected of them. However, I always throw in a twist. I use the sequencing cards to have the students explain what to do for each direction. For instance, when I showcase the sequencing card that demonstrates pouring part of pudding mixture into the cup, many of my students will say “Pour the pudding.” So what do I do? I pour the pudding onto the floor. Yes, that’s right. This teaches my students the importance of providing detailed directions such as, “Pour the pudding mixture into the cup.”

3. Independent Practice

After modeling what I expect from the students, I send them back to their seats. At each table I have all the supplies needed to create their dirt cups and the free printable sequencing cards to assist them while they create their delicious dirt cups. I absolutely love the worm dirt snack clip art set from Jen Hart DESIGN. The sequencing cards allow the students to work together to put each card in order as they assemble their dirt cups. 

4. Delicious Dirt Cups! Enjoy!

Their favorite part of the activity is eating their delicious dirt cups! This activity is a great way to focus on sequencing while explaining the importance of following directions and working together.

Be sure to check out all of the amazing products that The Baker’s Party Shop has to offer and remember, everything is better with sprinkles!