Friday, July 6, 2018

Space Library

You guys! I am so excited to share with you my classroom library! Last year I did a Circus theme (which you can find here) but this year, I have taken down all the red and yellow, and am doing a SPACE theme, in cool colors. I am not quite finished with my room yet, but the library is complete! I am in love with it! This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading, and I did receive free goodies.


Here is what I used:
Large Green Pillow


One of my favorite centers in my classroom is my library. I am almost certain it is my favorite because of the bathtub that anchors it. This is the bathtub that was in my mom’s classroom, when I was in kindergarten. I have filled it with green and purple pillows, and a rocket ship. The bathtub is draped in a calming Canopy, with hidden planets on the inside. Can you just imagine laying in the bathtub on soft pillows and viewing planets hanging while you are reading your favorite book?




I love all the little details in this library. From the Clear Classroom Book Organizers with labels, to the bulletin board that will house our writing prompts through the year, to the Inflatable Green Flocked Chair  to the fun Space Shuttle Inflatable for Children in the bathtub.


In my library, I have a book shelf that holds ten book boxes of the ten most recent and upcoming themes we are learning about in the classroom. It also doubles as a nap mat holder!


On my bulletin board, we are keeping half of our writing prompts up year-round. I bought some two-pronged file folders, and cut them in half and stapled them to the bulletin board. Then I added this place holder onto the prongs. They are waiting to be filled with Pre-K writing! 


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Linear Calendar


If you are in my Facebook Group “The PreK Spot” (if you aren’t, why not?!), you might have heard the buzz about Linear Calendars. I read about it for about a year before I finally gave in and jumped in with both feet to see what the buzz was about. I did the calendar for half a year, and I will never go back!



How to Make One:
First let’s talk about how I made my linear calendar. When I first tried the linear calendar, I tried one week at a time. I just wanted to see how I liked it. I bought a Weather Pocket chart from Amazon (you can get it here) You could buy 5 of the pocket charts and line them up, but it would be about $100. Or you can use adhesive pocket labels. (You can get there here, but I got mine at the Target Dollar Spot)



I printed out the first page of my Linear Calendar kit! You can buy the bundle here, but the January File is FREE.  I can’t remember exactly how many pages I printed out, I think 11. You could fit about three on each page. Once I printed the pages out, I lined them up side by side and taped them down.





Then I unpeeled the adhesives and placed them on each line. It was so easy to do.




Then the first time I put the cards in the linear calendar, I did it myself. But the next few times I let the kids do it.

The Why:
I have heard the research that Calendar is not DAP. But I could not let go. I do so much during calendar time. (I actually wrote an article at Oriental Trading HERE about what all I do during calendar time) Looking back at to what my students were learning during calendar, had more to do with the numbers, as opposed to the actual calendar. Even when I taught kinder, they struggled with learning the months of the year, and the days of the week. So why was I focusing so much on the calendar? I needed to focus on the numbers. These are the four skills that I felt I needed to focus on.
·      Left to Right Progression:
I wanted to make sure the kids knew that we started on the left and moved to the right. This leads into the next item.
·      Numeracy
I needed my students to see that the numbers got small to big. It also helps them see that numbers are in in a row. I think when we looked at a square calendar, it was confusing at first. When they look at it the numbers and the breaks in the calendar don’t match our 100s chart.
·      Patterning Skills
This is a nonnegotiable skill in Calendar, be it traditional or linear calendars. Patterns are something that need to be introduced, even if not mastered. Just by exposing students to patterns, they pick up on it faster. Our date cards have AB, ABC, and ABB patterns on them.


·      Vocabulary
There were some big words that I wanted to make sure my kids were exposed to. Again, I am not trying to make sure they reach mastery, but I want to introduce them to the words. In PreK they wont necessarily make sense of words like: month, year, weekend. But by introducing it, they might begin to understand.





The How:
        So, when we do calendar, it isn’t much different than what I did when I taught with the traditional calendar. (and in this picture, I still have my traditional calendar up!)
        When we start the month out, I lay all the month date pieces out on the floor. Each student gets a card. We start with the number 1, the student with that number goes and puts it in the calendar. We identify the pattern. I will cover the day we are on. We read the numbers, then we read the pattern. After we decide on the date, we then mark home/school. We count how many days we have been at home, and how many days we have been in school.
        At the end of the year, I added big days (spring break, last day of school, party days). We then would count up to how many days until XYZ.

The Good Stuff:
        Now to the best part. I might have bought an extra set of Adhesive Pockets at Target last night. I’m giving away 62 pockets and my linear calendar bundle! Enter below! Giveaway ends at midnight 7/6.




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Space Themed Classroom

You guys! I am SO EXCITED to share with you my classroom!! I have been working so hard on my classroom makeover. Last year I had a circus theme, which you can find here. I loved my room from last year, but this year I wanted a calmer environment. So, I decided to go with calm cool colors, and add a bit of space to my room. I work with Oriental Trading, so most of my supplies come from there! 


What I Needed:
Large Green Pillow



The main area of my classroom is my carpet where we do all our whole group learning. My rocking chair for me to sit, and then the Blocks Abound Carpet for my students to sit crisscross applesauce. This is my main teaching station.

This is my focus wall. I used the Fadeless ® Art Purple Paper Roll and bordered it with Purple Dots on Chalkboard Bulletin Board Border layered on Black Scalloped Border. All my bulletin boards are black, except for this one. When kiddos come into our classroom, I want their eyes to be drawn to this board. This is where we have our calendar, Number of the Day, Focus wall and our 8 Classroom  Expectations. On the door I have created a felt wall, using Styrofoam and felt. I have put DIY Jumbo Alphabet Letter to make an anchor chart. During the week, we will add words that begin with our focus letter. I also used Bright Color Hanging Fans to add just a pop of color in the corner of the bulletin board.
On my calendar wall we use the Number of the Day and Focus Wall from my Teacher's Pay Teachers store. Alphabet Line is here.



Next to my easel is my art center. Officer Hoffer specially made the picnic table. In the four cubes, we have construction paper, Letter Stamps, crayon bags, and notebooks for each kiddo. I also have Crayola Paint, paint cups, and paint brushes out so we can paint on the first day! This is one of my kiddos favorite center!



In the corner of my room, opposite of my teacher desk, is where we have small group! I have the All About Numbers Pocket Chart behind the desk. I also have another bulletin board with Purple Dots on Chalkboard Bulletin Board Border layered on purple border. Again, I used Bright Color Hanging Fans to add the bulletin board just a POP! Space Shape bulletin board is here.


Keep going around my room, is my library. I love the planets hanging over the bathtub, how calming will that be! The bulletin board is where my student's monthly writing will hang, the file is here.


Backed up against the bathtub, is my dramatic play area! I just love Melissa & Doug’s stuff for this area! It is made to last, especially with small children!  I love their Kitchen Accessory Set and their Pots & Pans set.


In the middle of my room is my free choice centers. I have Bristle Blocks, Patten Blocks, and Stacking Cubes. A large part of my day is in free play. I love watching my kids use engineering skills to build structures using different manipulitives. They also love using puzzles. You can see upclose how I manage my puzzle storage here. You can get the center labels here.


My desk is my favorite area. On the left I hang up all the love notes that I get throughout the year. The right is where my color posters hang, and the far right is my Word Wall. You can read more about that here




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

S'more Back to School Gift

There is nothing I love more than Back to School time. I start thinking about it before school is out. About July I start to panic if my room isn’t ready. Open House is one of my favorite days. I love meeting my new littles. I have teamed up with Oriental Trading. I am not being paid for this post, but they did supply the supplies.

Items Needed:

Cardstock




I am doing a Camping Theme this year. So I thought what better for a back to school treat than a S’More plush! I printed some S’more Printable Cards. If you head over to TeachersPayTeachers and download the PowerPoint file, you can type in your own name! (I used AG Bosslady! You can purchase that font here! Or use any other font on your computer!)



Then I took the S’more Plush Toy and Black Baker’s Twine, punched a hole in the tag, and then tied the tag to the S’more. They turned out so cute! I can’t wait to give them to my littles!!







Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Frog Street Splash

Have you heard of Frog Street Splash?! It is hands down the BEST early childhood conference there is! This will be my 4th year to attend. And each year it gets better and better! 

So; I am an ambassador for Frog Street, and the best part is, they let me give away a registration to one of my followers! That could be YOU! (However, if you are the winner winner chicken dinner, you have to provide transportation and accommodations, we are just giving you the registration) You have until Friday to enter!

So here is the run down:


Who: YOU
What: Frog Street Splash
Where: Grapevine, TX at the Gaylord
When: July 25-27th






Saturday, May 12, 2018

OTC Teacher Appreciation Giveaway

Hey Friends! Boy it has been a CrAzY month. Can I get an Amen?

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and in typical Kaci fashion, I am a behind, running on my own schedule! 

With that being said, I have teamed up with Oriental Trading, and wait for it, we are giving away $50 gift card to OTC!


To enter, it is easy peasy! You can sign up for emails, visit on FB and Insta and refer friends! Easy right?! The giveaway ends on May 31st, so you have time to enter, but don't dilly-dally and wait too long!



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

PreK Hollywood Graduation Snack Table

If you know me, you know that I love a good snack! After our graduation, we always have a snack bar! It allows us to take a second to breathe after graduation, and a chance to chit chat with our students and their parents. I am so lucky that I get to work with Oriental Trading, and they sent me all these goodies to make our Graduation perfect!


Things You Need:

What movie night doesn’t need some good drink! I wish I could say that I created some amazing drinks to go with our Graduation, but it would be a lie! I just served some red Kool-Aid! I started the table out with the Pleated Red Table Skirt and Red Plastic Tablecloth Roll.

Then I used Gold and Silver Star Centerpiece. But confession, I CAN NOT stand mixing gold and silver (or navy and black or brown and black!) so I used two gold halves and made a solid gold star. Then I added the White and Gold Patterned Hanging Paper Lantern for just a pop of white!

Can we just talk about these cookies?! They were to die for! They were delicious!! They are made by a local lady who bakes cookies for fun! I could have eaten a whole dozen!

It is no secret in our classroom, that I am a sucker for popcorn! So we HAD to have the popcorn machine out so we could make popcorn! I just grabbed these popcorn containers at The Dollar Tree.



This was a pretty simple table for our graduation, but our students and their parents LOVED it! You can also check out how we decorated for our graduation HERE