Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm Jumping on the Instagram Bandwagon!

I've been on instagram for awhile and it's so much fun!  This morning, I created an account for my blog so I could join in on all the instagram fun!  Can't wait until tomorrow to see everyone's awesome pictures!

You can follow me on instagram @alwaysanadventureink
Now link up with What the Teacher Wants or Apples and ABC's to find even more instagramers!
And don't forget the Sara at Primary Buzz is hosting a fundraiser for the family of Martin Richard, the 8 year old who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.  Head over HERE to donate and get some great products!
AND Miss Williams at Fluttering in First Grade is celebrating 100 followers with a giveaway!  Head over to her cute blog to enter!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

An Opportunity to Help AND a Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be a part of a fundraiser event for the family of Martin Richard.  Martin was the 8 year old boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.  His sister and mother were also injured very badly while they were waiting for Martin's dad to cross the finishline.  The lovely Sara at Primary Buzz has organized the fundraiser.  It's a great collection of products so head over and check it out! And if you would be so kind, spread the word about this fundraiser so we can really help out Martin's family. 
Primary Buzz
Click this link to donate
Primary Buzz


I'm also excited to help Miss Williams at Fluttering In First Grade celebrate reaching 100 followers!

Head over HERE and enter for your chance to win A WHOLE LOTTA STUFF from her TpT store as well as items from 8 other bloggers including yours truly!

Now I'm off to finish up a few things in my lesson plans and be sure I'm ready for the week!  Field trip this week--can't wait!!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday--This week went FAST!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs again for Five for Friday!  I look forward to Fridays even more now because of this linky!  I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to each week!
Here's what's been going on in my world . . .
1.  All soccer, all the time
Both of my kids are playing in a Spring soccer league and my husband is coaching my son's team so it seems like all we do is run to soccer practice!  The picture above is from Saturday's game.  Yes, those are snowflakes you see in the picture.  That's my daughter dressed like the abominable snowman to play soccer. Gotta love April in Ohio. Tomorrow, we have two games again and it's supposed to be 70 and sunny!  Yay!
2.  Name Collection Flowers
We made name collection flowers this week to brighten up our hallway.  Does anyone else have a building as old as mine?  Doesn't that hallway scream 1950s??  I got this awesome activity HERE from Miss Kindergarten.  They turned out great!
3.  Brain Breaks
My kiddos LOVE singing and dancing along to songs on the SMARTboard.  I'm a big fan of the Harry Kindergarten videos on YouTube.  I try to squeeze in one of these videos between each of our Daily 5 rotations.
4.  Hat Day!
We are doing an ABC Countdown to Summer and today was Hat Day for letter H.  I was sporting a pretty awesome sparkly light-up fedora!  You can't truly appreciate it from this picture, but it is indeed flashing around the brim!
AND, most importantly . . . .
That's fabulous sun shining on even more fabulously freshly colored hair!  That's right.  I got to spend 90 quality minutes with my awesome hairdresser with NO children and nothing but girl talk.  And as a bonus, while we chatted, she washed that gray right outta my hair!  What a way to start the weekend!
So, there's my Five for Friday!  Another busy weekend is on tap for us, but I hope to find some time to go through all the awesome products I got from the fundraiser for the West, Texas teachers that was put on by Chrystal at Kreative in Kinder!  It was like Christmas morning this morning while I waited for that file to download!  Can't wait to start planning and printing and laminating!  Happy weekend everyone!  Go HERE to link up!

Monday, April 22, 2013

My 3 favorite areas of my classroom!

Latoya has another great topic for her "Let's Get Acquainted" linky this week.  Share your 3 favorite areas of your classroom! 

I love looking at (and drooling over) pictures of everyone's classrooms. My room isn't very big and my building is pretty old so I get jealous over a lot of the pictures! But, it's my classroom and we've made it "home!"  So here goes--Yikes, this is scary!  I hope I cleaned good before taking the pictures!  It's just like having company over . . . .
Favorite spot #1: Carpet/Smartboard area
This is where my whole class instruction, morning meetings, and read alouds take place.  I use my Smartboard ALL THE TIME (and if you follow my blog and read about my technical issues, YES the Smartboard is fixed!).  Also, notice my Daily 5 board is here.  At this point in the year, we barely even remember it's there, but boy, oh boy, did we refer to that board a lot when we were getting those routines going.  And I also have my easel and chart paper here. We use Wilson Fundations (which I LOVE!) so my easel board is set up with the letter cards most of the time.
Favorite spot #2: Guided Reading Table

This is where the real action takes place!  I love sitting here with my kiddos working in small groups.  It's when I can really get down to the nitty gritty with each and every one of them.  It also keeps me orgainzed to a point because by the end of the day, you can hardly see it because it is my "catch all" area throughout the day.  The fact that I'll need it again in the morning for reading groups forces me to deal with the mess every night before I leave!
Favorite spot #3: Behavior Clip Chart

OK, so maybe this doesn't count as an area, but it's definitely one of my favorite parts of my classroom.  It keeps me sane.  My kids live and die by what color their clip is on.  When most are being noisy, but I can find those one or two kiddos that are doing the right thing and tell them to go move their clips up, it's so powerful.  Suddenly, the rest of them are getting their act together and sitting quietly, too!  I love that it not only is a way to punish those who misbehave, but also to reward those who are making good choices!
Well, there you have it!  My 3 favorite spots in my classroom.  Now head over to Latoya's blog and link up so you can sneak a peek at everyone else's fave spaces.  I can't wait to go snoop!

Friday, April 19, 2013

T.G.I.Five for Friday!

It's Friday!!!  And not that I'm counting or anything, but I just realized I only have 4 more Fridays this year!  Exciting and overwhelming all at the same time!  So much to do, but so much fun to be had!
Here's my Five for Friday this week!
1.  We had kindergarten screening this week for our incoming kindergarteners.  Our district gets us subs for 2 days and we conduct the screening.  It's really interesting to meet the kids and get a little insight into behaviors and abilities.  It does make me realize, though, how far my kids this year have come!  Do I have to start all over again next year?  Can't I just keep these kids who can read and write and follow routines? So, what are your screening procedures like?
2.   We began our ABC Countdown to the end of the year this week.  Wednesday was stuffed animal day.  We read to them during Daily 5 and we also used them for a math lesson on sorting.  Here we sorted them by size.  So much fun!
We are using the ABC Countdown pack from Live Laugh Love Every Day in Kindergarten.  Check it out HERE
3.  We went on a Digraph Hunt this week!  My kiddos love activities that require a clipboard and moving around the room so I try to do something like that every week for Word Work during
Daily 5. 
This week we used my Digraph Pack that you can find in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Click HERE for my blog post about this pack.
4.  Continuing with our ABC Countdown, we had Backwards and Bubbles day!  We lucked out and had a beautiful 84 degree day to head outside and blow bubbles.  It's Ohio, people.  That was a TREAT!  There's a chance of snow overnight tonight and a high of 46 tomorrow so 84 was
5.  Today was Crazy Hair Day!  So cute!  I was rocking some pretty crazy hair myself and thought several times today that I needed to take a "selfie" for this post and I forgot!  I seriously did--I'm not just saying that!  I wanted to share my pink and purple glittery pig tails with you all!  I'm sure some of these kids had to get up an hour early to get their hair ready for school! Well, the girl with the black hair is wearing a wig so hers was easy, but the rest--WOW!
OK, I'm off to a CRAZY busy weekend! 
Go link up!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What did we do before Pinterest and TpT???

Yesterday, as we were gearing up for math centers, my kiddos excitedly asked me what our new math centers were going to be like tomorrow.  Then the conversation went a little like this:
Me: "Silly kids! We don't get new math centers until Monday!"   
Kiddos:  "But, Mrs. Feikert, after today we will have done all the centers!"
Me: "No, I think you must be confused.  I'm sure we've only done these centers for 3 days--remember the Girl Scout assembly and the day our whole group lesson ran over so we didn't do centers, and . . . "
Kiddos: "Yes, but we've REALLY done all the centers after today!  I think you're mixed up Mrs. Feikert!  You weren't here Monday and Tuesday because you were meeting next year's kindergarteners, remember??"
And, then my light bulb went on.  Those kids don't miss a beat!  I did need new math centers FOR TOMORROW!  Usually I have a couple weeks at a time planned out for math centers, but it was just one of those weeks where it snuck up on me! I had a sub for two days while we conducted screening for the incoming kindergarteners and I simply had lost two days of my life! So, as any good teacher would do, I sat down at my computer last night, went straight to Pinterest and pulled up my "math" board.  This, my friends, is what Pinterest must have been made for.  All those fun things that I had pinned and hoped to do sometime--yep!  I clicked and downloaded and printed and clicked and downloaded and printed some more!  And before I knew it, I had new math centers all ready to be laminated and cut out when I got to school in the morning.  Thank goodness my kiddos go to art on Thurday morning for 55 minutes!  I was a laminating and cutting fool!!
Here are a few of those fabulous activities I found via Pinterest that saved my life last night!
Pinned Image
 I found this awesome freebie from Inspired in Second.  It's fabulous because there are several versions so you can challenge your really bright kiddos!
Pinned Image
 I downloaded this pack from Primary Junction and printed out the blank number grid.  I filled in random numbers throughout the grid and my kiddos had to finish the grid then color in the numbers they would say when counting by 5s and 10s.  They loved it!
We've been learning our coins so I found THIS on Teachers Pay Teachers.  It was just what I needed.  Simple and easy, yet good coin counting practice!

I also used this greater than/less than freebie that I got from Primary Possibilities on a blog hop a few weeks ago.

And there you have it!  Fabulous math centers in a pinch all because of Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers!  So my bloggy friends, next time you find yourself in a bind, KEEP CALM and SURF PINTEREST!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dabbling in Digraphs

Whew!  What a crazy few days I've had!  I thought I'd have this post up over the weekend, but that didn't happen.  My kids are playing in a spring soccer league so we had two games on Saturday (it was 45 degrees with 25 mph winds!  BRRRR!!) and we attended the wedding of one of my good friends and colleague--so much fun!!  Monday and Tuesday we had Kindergarten screening for next year's kiddos at school so I had a sub for two days while we did screening.  It's so fun to meet the kids and find out what they can do, but it's also makes me want to keep the kiddos I have now because I realize how far we've come!  I don't want to start all over with routines!
We've been working on digraphs in my classroom throughout the year, but we are hitting them hard right now.  I created some activities for my kiddos and I put them in action last week during our Word Work time.
First, they sorted the picture cards on the pocket chart.
Then they got to work writing them on their recording sheet!
I just had to include this one!  I loved how they were all spread out on the carpet sitting however they were comfortable, but each working so hard!  This is one of the reasons I love Daily 5-structured, yet kind of unstructured--does that even make sense??
Look at this smarty pants!  We have just begun talking about silent e, but they haven't really been using it too much independently.  I was thrilled to see this guy have ALL of his 'wh' words spelled correctly!  I think he remembered 'wheel' from an activity the day before, but he got the other two all on his own and even underlined the digraphs and crossed out the silent e just like we do with our Wilson FUNdations lessons!  Brings a tear to my eye  . . . .  Ha!
I was SO pleased with how this activity went.  Today I'm going to use another activity from the pack--I'm going to place the picture cards around the room, give the kids their clipboard and recording sheet and send them on a digraph hunt!  Find the picture, write the word, and underline the digraph!
This pack also includes three picture sorts that I use for morning work/assessment! 
You can check it out in my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE!



Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday!!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday and I'm actually posting it ON Friday!  I think that's a first!

Here's five random moments from my week . . .

Nothing gets kindergarteners wound up like a toad!  One of my kiddos showed up one morning this week with this guy that he'd found in his garage!  The kids went wild!  The little sweetie that brought in this toad just happens to be the son of one of the other kindergarten teachers in our building and I wouldn't have wanted HER kiddos to miss out on all the excitement so I suggested that HER class babysit our toad while OUR class was at art--paybacks, hee hee . . . .

It's spring!  We have daffodils!  The sweetest thing about these daffodils is that I accumulated them throughout the week.  On Monday, one of my kiddos brought me a flower.  By the end of the week, I had three--each from a different kiddo.  So sweet!

RAIN--that's been the name of the game around here this week.  This is my own personal kiddo playing in our impromptu swimming pool in our front yard.  This was at the beginning of the rain.  Shortly after this, we had about 4 inches of rain in 3 hours!  Yikes!  (I must admit, I was secretly hoping for a "flood day" since we didn't use all 5 of our snow days this year!)

This week we had our annual art show.  There are just two school districts  in our county so once a year, they combine for a Celebration of the Arts. There is a TON of art on disply and then the two high school bands and choirs combine for a concert.  It's a really great display.  This year, my son Ethan (the one playing in the puddle!) had his unicorn selected for display!  You should have seen us--parents, sister, and both sets of grandparents--oohing and aaahhhing over this little creature!  I think it will be in The Louvre some day, don't you??

Yes, this is a screen shot of MY FIRST SALE on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I made my first sale this week!  I know I only made $1.50, but I am still just so amazed that someone out there wanted to buy MY product and use it in their classroom!  Hopefully, it's the first of many more!  I've benefited so much from TpT.  I can only hope that my products will help someone out as much as my purchases have helped me in my classroom!
Well, that's my Five for Friday!  Go link up  HERE


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Anyone else need a "do over" today??

This has just been quite the day!  Why does everything fall apart all at the same time?!
A little background--our intercom system in our building (which is older than Moses--seriously . . ) has not been working for, oh, about 6 weeks!  We all have to carry our two way radios with us everywhere we go because that's the only way the office can get in touch with us to give us messages, call for students etc.  Picture it--Johnny forgot his lunch box.  Johnny's mom brings his lunch box to the office for him.  The secretary has to get on the two way radio and tell his teacher to send him to get his lunch box.  And the entire school has to hear the entire conversation.  Now remember that there are 400 students in our building so things like that happen a lot.  Yeah, it's getting old.  They tell us that the system is so old that they are having trouble finding the parts to fix it.  OK, hold on to this info and move forward with me . . .
I am lucky enough to have a SMARTboard.  Not everyone in our building does yet.  I love it.  I use it ALL the time.  Did I mention that I use it ALL the time.  For nearly everything?  ALL the time.  Well, it's been on the fritz off and on all year.  For about 6 weeks, it will occasionally do this strobe light flashing thingy.  Well, the last few days, it's been a near constant flashing.  Psychedelic, baby!  My kids joke that we are having a disco party.  I'm afraid it's going to send us all into seizures . . .  They now tell me the projector needs replaced.  Fabulous.
Today we get to school and they tell us that the Internet is down for the entire district.  Well, there goes my computers that we use for Listen to Reading during Daily 5 time.  There goes being able to print off all the cool stuff I emailed to myself from my blog stalking last night.  There goes, well--everything.
Oh, and did I tell ya that the SMARTboard has now decided to turn itself off about every 10 minutes?  I'm getting good at speed teaching before it crashes!
So, I have my two way radio clipped to my pants pocket, I've pulled out the CD player and headphones for listen to reading, I've sent lunch count and attendance to the office on paper since we have no Internet, and I'm annoyed with the psychedelic randomly shutting off SMARTboard.  So I decide to pull out the chart paper and forget about the lesson we were going to do on the SMARTboard and pull out the chart paper and do it the old fashioned way.  No problem.  I got this!  Wait, I'M OUT OF CHART PAPER!!! 
That's right bloggy friends--no internet, no smartboard, no intercom, NO PAPER!  Ugh, I was ready to pack it in right then and there.  BUT, we muddled through.  I ran for chart paper at my earliest opportunity, the internet came back up, and, well, the SMARTboard and intercom are still yet to be revived, but there's always tomorrow!
And it HAS to be better than today!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Help! I'm Stranded on a Desert Island!!--A Linky Party

Today I'm linking up with Latoya at Flying into First Grade for her Sunday Linky . . .

Wow! This is a tough one! What do I want with me if I'm stranded on a desert island?! I think that depends on whether or not my island has a secret power source and wi-fi!
1.  I would probably have to say my iPad.  Even if I didn't have power or wi-fi, it would keep me entertained until the battery died!  I have become seriously addicted to my iPad and Candy Crush Saga in particular--if you haven't downloaded that game, DON'T DO IT!!
2.  Pepsi!  I know for some people it's Diet Coke and for others it's coffee, but for me it's Pepsi!  My kids still laugh every time we see a Pepsi truck because one time when they were really
little, I told them that the Pepsi truck brings happiness to the world!  I don't even remember it, but they sure do!
3.  Hmmm, what else?  Maybe one of these??
That actually doesn't look so bad, does it??!!
So--what did I forget??  What would you take with you if you were going to be stranded on an island?  Head over HERE to link up!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Showers Math Activities

Whew!  It's been hard to get back into the swing of things after being on Spring Break last week!  At least this is a short week since we had Monday off, too!  Tomorrow is Thursday already?! Yay!
Over break, I created some tens frames activities to use as math centers this week.  This is a review skill for us--we learned about tens frames way back in the fall and then again when we started exploring teen numbers.  It's a skill, though, that I don't feel our math series spends enough time with.  We did some activities with tens frames again around the holidays and I just didn't feel like it was a secure skill for many of my kiddos so I wanted to revisit it at least one more time this year.
For one center, they had to choose a number card and then fill in the tens frames correctly.  Before, I was getting some students just coloring in random spots in the frame and not going in order.  That defeats the purpose, don't you think??!!  This time, I modeled very carefully by projecting the recording sheet on my board and doing a few together.  Yes, I did that last time, too, but some of them must not have gotten it--imagine that!  Model, model, and model some more! This time, they did great with it!  I was very pleased!
Another activity had the students choosing a card with tens frames on it, finding the number on their recording sheet and coloring it to match.  When I modeled this activity, I really tried to emphasize that I didn't want them to count each dot, but use what they know about tens frames!  The next step will be working more with base ten blocks, so I want that foundation in place!
Every so often, we have a "math games" day, so then I plan to use the cards to play a matching game by having the kids match the tens frames to the correct number.  This group of kids LOVES to play any kind of Memory or Go Fish kind of game--that's such a bonus for me because you can make a matching game out of ANY skill!

Head over here to check out these activities!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rainy Day Writing Freebie

I'm linking up with Freebielicious this morning!
I've been working on several items with a "Rainy Day" theme for April.  This writing activity is quick and easy--just print, copy and GO!  Included is a graphic organizer and writing sheets.  I have a couple kiddos who will only get the first page because if they fill up those three lines with good ideas, I'm going to do a happy dance!  I also have a couple kiddos who will probably need a gazillion copies of that second page of writing lines because they will write me a beautiful novel about what they would do on a rainy day! 
You can grab your freebie HERE
If you want to stick with the "rainy day" theme, you might want to check out my tens frames activities HERE
Now head back to Freebielicious to find more great freebies on the first!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Currently?? Already??

Oh my word?!  Is it April already?  It seems like just yesterday that I posted my March Currently!  Time flies when you're having fun, right??

Does anyone else have kids who seem to ONLY watch the Disney Channel??  I seriously think I've seen every epidsode of Good Luck, Charlie and Jessie that there ever has been!  
I'm LOVING my extra day of Spring Break!  We were off last week, but we have today off, too, as our comp day for having parent teacher conferences two nights during the week before Spring Break.  This just feels like a BONUS day!
I'd wanted to do it for a long time, but I FINALLY opened my TpT store this week.  Spring Break gave me time to sit down and make a few products.  It was all new to me, but I must admit I'm pretty handy with PowerPoint already!  Now I can't wait until summer to REALLY have time to create!
Anyone ever win a shopping spree?? Find a money tree??  Is so, I need some tips!  We took the kids shopping last week, but the whole shopping budget was spent on them.  I saw so many cute things, but they'll have to wait.  Boo hoo.
Since we were off all last week, it's been awhile since I looked at my lesson plans.  I better get them out today and be sure I'm as ready for the rest of the week as I think I am!  At least it's only 4 days!
Just yesterday, one of the teens from our church sent out this tweet--"I just need to let go and let God . . ."  Great advice!  I get so caught up in trying to have a plan, be organized, and be in control.  I needed reminded that someone else is in control and I need to relax!
There you have it--my April Currently!
Head on over and link up with Farley