Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pay Day!

This is "Get A Job!" Part 2:  "Pay Day!".  You can read yesterday's post about how I make completing chores fun here

After my children understand what chores/jobs are expected of them, I then introduce the "pay off".  I use play money to "pay" them for their jobs.  At the end of the day, the "super" visor will bring the clipboards to me and if I confirm that all jobs are complete, then they get paid a dollar. I found play money to download and print at Preschool Alphabet.


If all jobs are completed, the kids earn a dollar.  They can earn extra dollars for being a blessing to each other and to family members (I will "catch them being a blessing").  If there is disrespect or if jobs aren't completed they can lose dollars.

With money comes a need for a wallet!  The boys made wallets from construction paper.  To make these, position paper vertically/shower style.  Fold up from the bottom to about 2" from the top.  Glue the sides on the left and right.  Then fold over, left to right.  Here are the wallets my boys made:

Idea inspired by Dr. Jean Feldman

At the end of the week, the boys can use their dollars to "buy" extra TV, X-Box, computer, pool time, an extra story at bedtime, to stay up 30 minutes later, to choose dessert, etc.  I have to work out the details of this part!

I'm not sure exactly how this will go over.  They are very excited about the jobs right now and the "money".  I'll keep you posted!

Stay cool and have a great weekend!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Get a Job!

 When I first started my blog one month and three days ago (not that I'm counting!), my intention was to write about a variety of topics related to motherhood and of course teaching! Over the course of this blogging adventure, I've written many teaching-related posts.  Today is one related to motherhood, but it could easily be adapted to school as well, especially if you use any kind of economy system.

My two youngest boys are 6.5 and 5.5 years old. Since they could toddle around, my husband and I expected them to help with family "jobs" such as cleaning up toys, throwing away trash, helping to set the table, etc.  One of their favorites was the "beat the timer" game where I would set the oven timer for say five minutes and see if they could pick up all their toys before the timer went off.  Another favorite is a race game where they would compete with each other to see who could put away the most toys.  My boys love competition and games!  They also love money and clipboards!

That's where today's post comes in!  To create independence so I don't have to nag  remind them of their chores, I created something new for them this summer.  It's called "Get A Job".

Just like in the classroom, I call chores jobs because, well, it seems a little more fun and important.  So I have been seeing all these cute decorated clipboards all over Pinterest.  Now, I am not all that crafty even though I used to make these-
Diaper Cake!

I wanted a job list/chore sheet for my little ones and I wanted them to have a clipboard.  So, we took the little pool noodle circles ( just cut a little piece off a pool noodle).  See my post here for more details!  I bought small clipboards at the dollar store and the boys used the noodle to sponge paint a cool swirly design.  We used tempra paint and sealed it with Mod Podge.  Not all that impressive, but they really thought it was cool.

Next comes the job sheet.  Here is what I created:
I laminated these, cut apart and placed on the clipboards.  The boys will use Expo markers to check off each chore job they do.  I could have used pictures with the chores, but they are reading pretty well.  We've been going over the expectations all week and practicing.

 The clipboards are placed on a table in my office.  They know that each morning after breakfast, they are to get their clipboards and begin their jobs.  With a job, comes the need for a supervisor.  I got this next idea from the Dr. Jean workshop I attended a few weeks ago.

 There's the supervisor!  He's the one that will be in charge of making sure he and his brother get their job sheets each morning. He will also let me know at the end of the day when the jobs are completed.  And, he will get the wallets for payday (I'll talk about that next time!)  They will alternate being the "super" visor!

Isn't this a hoot!  I bought foam visors from the dollar store. And wrote "super" on the front with a sharpie.

Above is my 6.5 year old checking his job sheet for the first time.  Don't let the smile fool you!  Right after I snapped the pic, he jokingly  said, "I quit!".  I replied, "If you quit your job, then you don't get paid!".  

And that is where I will pick up tomorrow.  I'll talk about how they get "paid" and the wallets they made to keep their "money".

Do you have any creative ways for motivating your kids to complete chores?  Please share!  I'd love to read your ideas!

Smile!  It's almost the weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Blogging at Falling into First!

Today I have the honor to be guest blogging at Falling Into First. Stephanie's blog is a favorite of mine!  She's creative, fun, and creates a.mazing products!

I'll be talking about picture walking and predicting AND will have FREEBIES!  Fall on over to Stephanie's blog and tell her that I sent you!


Falling into First 

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Staying Home With the Kids- Without Losing My Mind!

As teachers and parents, most of us thrive off of a schedule, routine, and structure.  At least I do.  We know that kids like routine and that it offers security for them.  For me, it gives me purpose and helps me to focus.  In our classrooms (whether it be in a school building or at home) a schedule is absolutely necessary for maintaining order and actually getting something accomplished.

When I was blessed enough to be a stay at home, I struggled a bit at first with how to organize my days.  I'm task-oriented and product driven.  If I don't have a least a 100 projects/ideas swirling around in my little brain, I wonder if something is wrong with me!  For me, I need a fluid schedule and routine for summer and even for extended school vacations.  It just helps me to get motivated and be productive.  Otherwise, I most likely will still be in my pj's with the kids running wild when my husband comes home from work.

I know that you SAHM, WAHM, and home school moms (who are actually do both plus more!) have this down to a science.  I would love, love for you to share your tips!

In my house, the youngest son is the artist and crafty one in the family.  On Monday, I needed to clean the downstairs and the troops were restless!  My young son had collected small rocks and had them piled on his art desk.  We had talked about painting rocks (remember doing that as a kid?) a few days ago and he seemed interested.  So, I mentioned it again.  Then his older brother wanted in on the action!  So, he helped grab the supplies and I got them set up outside on the picnic table.

Now, you'll notice the orange circle-sponge thingy on the right.  That is cut from a pool noodle and they were also experimenting painting paper plates with that.  I'll write about that another day, but you can read what I did with a pool noodle hereI left them with paint brushes and a variety of tempra paints.  Then, I went in the house to clean, peeking out the window every so often to make sure there wasn't a paint fight!  When I finished and went outside, this is what they showed me:

Wow!  Rainbow rocks!  They said, almost in unison, "No, tye-dye rocks!"  Clever!  Fun!  Free! And I got some cleaning done, but most of all they were independent and used their imaginations!
Getting the kids busy doing something productive besides playing a video game or watching TV is one thing that sometimes works. 

Also, one thing I try to do ( just a little and not really all that well) is FlyLady.  I was obsessed with her when I was a SAHM.  Click on the cute pic above to visit her site for a plethora of home organization and cleaning tips and routines.  I still declutter, sometimes shine my sink, swish and swirl, do laundry everyday,  and focus on one room to clean per day.  Other days, well, I get caught up in blog stalking hopping, hanging with my kids, or creating things for my classroom!

Each year my summer schedule changes as the boys get older.  My oldest is 18 and just graduated from high school.  He's pretty much independentThe other two boys are a different story.  One is 6.5 yrs. and the other is 5.5 yrs old.  They are 14 months apart and are just like twins!

So here is my schedule for this year.  Like I said earlier, it is fluid and not permanent.  I also watch my nephews a couple times a week in the afternoons, so I often have 5 (yes 5!) boys here at the house!
Clip art by
Clip art by

 We have two local movie theaters that offer free movies each week in the summer.  They are older movies, but we never watch movies unless it is from Red Box, so they are new movies for my kids!

This is what helps me to stay focused, actually get something accomplished, and make summer fun for my little ones!  Now chores, that's another story.  I'll share how I handle chores and little ones in my next post.  Oh, and when do I blog, create products, and blog hop?  Early in the a.m., throughout the day when I can squeeze it in, and late at night!  My husband is a saint and on most nights after dinner, he entertains the boys for me so I can get some pinning work accomplished.

I'd love to hear how you structure your day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest Blogging At Kindergarten Lifestyle!

 I'm just so excited and sincerely honored to tell you that I have my very first guest blogging gig today!  Head on over to my new friend, Jeannie, at Kindergarten Lifestyle I am a huge fan of her fabulous blog and have learned so much from her!  Plus, she is just as sweet as can be and creates high quality and fun products for teachers!

My post on Jeannie's blog is about my amazing day at a Dr. Jean workshop a few weeks ago.  I learned so much and wanted to share with you!

So, hurry and  head on over to Jeannie's blog!!!!

I'm off to to the "Tootie Ta!"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Primary Reading Party- FUN Giveaway!

Click on pic to enter this giveaway!

WOOT!  Come say a big, bloggy congratulations to my new friend, Cindy, author of Primary Reading Party, for reaching a 100+ followers on her adorable blog!  And while you are there, enter her fabulous giveaway!

One very fortunate follower has the chance to win **5*** amazing items!!!  I am very happy to be offering my S'more Rimes as one of the prizes!

Hop on over to Primary Reading Party and enter to win!  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

SUNSational Sunday! Linky Party!! Come Link Up!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blog Award!

WOW!  I am so very, very happy and honored that I have been awarded the Lovely Blog Award by Pencils Books and Dirty Looks!

Thank you so much for making my day and for the encouragement!

Make sure you visit Aimee's blog for fun and informative posts!
Once you receive the award, you must follow 3 rules:

1.  Follow the person that gave you the award
2.  Link back to the person that gave you the award
3.  Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers

Here are the amazing bloggers I am passing the award to.  Click on their badges to visit their blogs!



Transitional Kinder with Mrs.O

Where Seconds Count

Swimming Into Learning


Love Those Kinders!

Mrs. Seymour's super stars

Middle Grades Maven

Primary Reading Party

Polkadots and Pencils

Using My Noodle!

Well, I was all set to take a little bloggy break this weekend, but then the boys and I went to the dollar store.  And in the dollar store were all these noodles.  You know the ones- the pool noodles.  Now, that is not what I went there for.  Actually I went to get clip boards and a few other materials I need to make a few things for my boys and for my students.  But then I saw the noodles.  And then I remembered something my dear friend, Wanda, briefly told me about on the last day of school about noodles.

She had just returned from a workshop.  I don't even remember what kind of workshop it was or who the presenter was.  What I do remember is that she learned how to make letter holders out of noodles for making words.  And that is why she had several noodles in her classroom.  Here, I thought she was going to the pool to celebrate the last day of school!

So I filed that intriguing tidbit away and then remembered it today!  Of course I bought a noodle and thought about it all day!  I use Cunningham and Hall's Making Words for kindergarten and first grade in my intervention groups. Love it!

My letter holders are not fancy.  I use a file folder as the authors suggest and sometimes I use magnetic mats if I am using magnetic letters.  But, now I can use a noodle.  Well, at least part of one!  I wasn't exactly sure how to do it... I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut a 9.5" strip. Then I cut a slit in the top from end to end.


 I placed letters in the slit and there you go!  A cute little making words holder!  So then my husband came home and wondered why dinner wasn't made and why I was cutting noodles.  I asked if he could grab a pair of box cutters and I made these-

I found this idea in my search today when I wanted to see what else was out there (and there is a LOT!). I cut little circles and added letters with a Sharpie.   Kids can lace them on a piece of yarn in order, play matching games, make words-  the possibilities are endless!  And they have a neat texture that will appeal to kids!

So, I thank my friend Wanda for sharing this with me.  I wasn't planning this today, but I'm so glad I did!

Please let me know how you use your noodle!

Have a super duper weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Making Memories

Whew!  I am very glad it's Friday... I was very productive this week and got much accomplished.  I've decided that I am going to take Friday through Sunday off from writing blog posts.  I'm in the midst of writing and creating several packets and guest blog posts.  I need to remember that summer is for making memories and spending precious time with my sons.  

So, since today we are going to the library and to the pool and Noah has his final t-ball game, I'm going to keep this short.

I just wanted to share with you what I worked on yesterday.  I'm adding to the reader response packet I shared with you yesterday.  I'm aligning it with our Treasures reading program for kinder to grade 2.  It will have graphic organizers for reader response and active, comprehension strategies mini-posters.  Here's a sneak peak at the making connections component:

I was so excited to use Miss Law's brand new font (Miss Law Primer).  She has this and other very cool fonts for FREE in her TPT store.  Check it out here!

Ok, I'm off to have some fun!  Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm Bored!

No, it is not me that is bored!  I am knee deep in trying to keep up with reading for a bloggy book study, creating activities to use this coming fall, planning to help implement Daily 5 in a kinder classroom, blogging, taking care of 5 boys in the afternoons, and blog stalking!  And, that is why this post today will be short and sweet with a KISS ( keep it super simple)! 

My two youngest sons have been out of school for three weeks and the novelty of summer vacation is waning.  So, yes, already I hear, "Mommy, I'm bored!".  That is an instant invitation for them to help me with chores!

Anyway, this week the boys started the summer reading program at our local library which they LOVE!  They love the prizes they get each week and the reader's logs I created for them. My library uses online/digital logs, but my kiddos like the ones I made because they get to cut and paste AND they get to post them on the fridge!   You can grab a copy of these summer logs (for June, July, August) for FREE by clicking the pic below:
My boys will be entering kindergarten and first grades in the fall.  I started to create some reader response graphic organizers for them to use this summer.  We'll complete these after a read-aloud, shared reading, and/or independent reading.  I plan to only do 1 or 2 a week so as not to make it too "schoolish".  On most of the organizers, they will have the option to draw or write.  I will be adding to this as I go along, but you can grab the first five pages for FREE by clicking on the pic below:

I am hoping to sneak in some summer learning that is fun for my boysAnd maybe, just maybe, I will not hear those three words as much!

Hang in there;  it's almost Friday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hoppin' Back To School!

Okay, I know that it is summer vacay... my goodness, some of you may still be in school!  But, I had this little brainstorm last week and wanted to share it with you!

I was thinking of ways to help teachers implement/launch Daily 5 or centers, their routines, procedures, all the while getting to know the students and building a classroom community.  I thought about the plethora of ice-breaker activities that I have used over the years.  The M&M activity is still one of my favorites.  If you don't know what it is, leave me a comment and I will share how I used it.

Anyway, so I've been making lots of games this summer to keep my young sons occupied on rainy days and to make practicing speech therapy homework fun. This is where the little brainstorm comes in!  I had an idea to create a board game that would have question cards with ice-breaker type of questions for small groups to play. I wanted a meaningful activity that would allow students to practice working in groups, centers, or stations.  While playing the game, they would share about themselves, learn about their new friends, and practice the expected behaviors and learn procedures such as transitions, voice level, stamina, and more!

Hoppin' Back To School is the game that I came up with and just listed it in my TPT storeI used the adorable frog clip art from 

Click on the first pic below to see the listing and a preview.

This game includes 28 question cards for students to answer and share a little about themselves. Questions include "What is your favorite color?"," Name three things your teacher can do this year to make learning fun", and "What did you eat for breakfast?".

The questions promote self-reflection and some acquaint students to the classroom layout ( "Where is the pencil sharpener?") and class rules ("What should you do if you have a question and the teacher is busy?")

 The packet includes a recording sheet where students record answers to any (10) of the cards so you can learn a little about them as well and teach accountability. A Venn Diagram is included as an extension activity for students to compare themselves to another friend in the class.

I "toadily" ( sorry, I couldn't resist!) cannot wait to use this game this coming school year!  Depending on the age level and reading ability, I think this game could be used as young as kindergarten, especially if you are fortunate enough to have an aid to help!

Speaking of frogs, hop on over to my pad store to grab your freebie for today!  It's a "Froggy Fluency" mini-poster to remind students of what their reading should sound like!
 Have a fun first day of summer!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Write This Way- MEGA Giveaway!!!!!  You do not want to miss this huge giveaway that Stephanie from Falling Into First is having!  Stop by her adorable blog and give her a big, friendly bloggy congrats on reaching 100 followers!

Stephanie is offering an amazing assortment of writing resources for Kindergarten to grade 2These prizes would make going back to school so much FUN and you would have weeks and weeks of cute, meaningful writing activities right at your fingertips!

Click on the pic below to go to her blog:

Don't you miss it!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...