Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dinosaur Packet

I know you are not suppose to post twice in one day, but I created my first teachers pay teachers packet and wanted to share it. I have been unable to find a lot of dinosaur activities so I decided to create my own. There is a lot included: Counting Mats, fine motor activities, Dinosaur, Dinosaur What Do You See book, Where is the T-rex Book, How Many Dinosaurs Book, book suggestions, and an ABC where is the raptor game. Lots of fun stuff! Make sure to check it out! :)

Dinosaur Packet


I made a dinosaur cut-out of a stegasorus. The kids can attach clothespins to them. I used cardboard and then painted them green. You can make into a game where the kids have to put certain color clothespins on or a certain number of clothespins on or just let them pin on whatever color they want.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dinosaur Dig

I saw this on another blog and thought it looked like a lot of fun for the kiddos. Buy some dog bones and on the blog I saw she spray painted them white, but I had an almond color spray already so I used that. I sprayed them and then added numbers and letters to the bones. You put them in the sand table and the kids hunt them out. I made a recording sheet for the students too. This way they can collect the bones they get and then record their findings. I will have the kids use bingo markers to record their findings.
Dinosaur Dig # Dinosaur Dig ABC

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Goals

This past school year I came to the realization that a lot of the materials in my classroom were no longer age appropriate for the types of students that I had coming in. At the beginning of the year my little ones didn't know how to play with the barn and farm animals or how to put a Mr. Potato Head together. They did not know how to sit or listen to a simple story. So my MAJOR goal for next year is to create as many things this summer that will be developmentally appropriate for my little ones coming in younger (2.6 years old) and with much less experience. Sadly, I will probably being seeing my son this coming school year surpass some of the kids that are going on their second year of being in my room. Anyways, in pursuit of creating more activities that are developmentally appropriate and because we have a much more limited budget this school year I have been searching in my parents basement and through my own odds and ends to create things. Also, Pinterest has been a HUGE help too with lots of great ideas. So here are a few things I have come up with during Ethan's naps. Color Sensory Bottles. I also made a corresponding worksheet that the kids can bingo stamp as they find the items.
Happy Birthday Balloon Pencils
Turkey Clothespin Game- the kids roll the color and have to put that color clothespin on the turkey. I just used 5 colors: blue, red, yellow, orange, and green for the feathers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Morning Routine Visual Schedule

These are 2 visual schedules I am going to incorporate into my clasroom next year. The first one I am going to use to help my students to do each of the things we need to complete before going out to our locker. I am going to put velcro on the finished side so that the students can move the picture over once it is completed. The second is once we are at our lockers the steps that they need to do. I am going to be putting magnets on the back so that they can stick to the inside of the lockers and velcro on it so that it can be adjusted for spring (when students don't have a coat). I am going to use the locker one with multiple students. I need to still get these laminated so that I can add the velcro, but this is what it is going to look like.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fall Activities

Here are a few things more for the month of October than just fall, but a few things I found on Pinterest that I have to make sure to incorporate in my classroom.
Monster Feelings Book Monster Feelings Book Spider Poem- I put this on a large posterboard and will add velcro so names can be switched in and out. Spider Poem Love Lives Here Button Frame I was inspired from Pinterest to make this. It was super easy, but super cute! :) Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Reflection 8

Reflection 8
Overall, I found this class to be very useful. I discovered lots of new resources I may have not otherwise ever tried before. I definitely intend on using some of these resources in my classroom, such as, Prezi and Classroom Booksource. Unfortunately, I do not know how much I will use many of the other sources in my classroom. I would love to use some YouTube videos, but those are not permitted in school and some of the other materials I do find to be too advanced for my students (Inspiration). I could definitely use some of the resources with the parents or my colleagues when presenting different material and I may, but with my students I am much more limited. I liked the how you could put in a topic (I chose charter schools) and find lots of journal articles about that topic. This is something that would have been useful when I was writing my research projects a couple of years ago because I mostly used ERIC.
On the site, I liked how you could find sample lesson plans based on standards, differentiated instruction or the children’s reading levels. I also like how you can save information that assists students with developing critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. I also liked how there was an eLibrary option for elementary students. This tool would definitely have been useful in the K-3 classroom as students begin to develop simple research projects.
  Proquest and 21st Century Learning I found to be very interesting and a useful tool for older elementary students and above, but not for my students or young elementary students. I did like how you, as the teacher, can monitor the activities and if students are getting the material or not by the report provided, which is color coded. I like how you can see too, what level they are on for each area (if the student has gotten the topic or does not understand it by the results of the activities by that student). I also like that it can self-pace by the students, but as discussed in class that would take a lot of self-discipline and motivation to complete lessons and activities.
All of the sites throughout the semester though were helpful and for the most part user-friendly and could definitely be used in most classrooms, no matter what the age of the students. Classroom Resource Organizer Information
Booksource Organizer YouTube Video

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Visual Schedule Book

I used this book with a student when I taught Kindergarten. He checked off each of the things that we did throughout the day. If he did a good job on the main category (example math) then he would earn stickers which could lead to a prize at the end of the day. The prize included a special visit to our school social worker or extra time on the computer. He enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing things checked off as he did them and it helped me to keep track of his day as each day his behavior varied. Visual Schedule Book

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pete the Cat Sequencing

I am going to be teaching summer school and actually have our first staff meeting today for it. I am looking forward to working with the incoming kindergarteners. The first week we are going to be doing Pete the Cat activities and I created a couple of small activities to do. This particular Pete the Cat activity corresponds to I Love My White Shoes. Enjoy!

This file has been updated and you can find that here.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reflection 7

Reflection 7

I had actually created a weebly site previously when I taught at a different school. However, at my new school we are expected to have websites directly linked to the main school page. We are allowed to do as little or as much that we want to do with it. I have tried to keep my newsletter and contact information, updated but at this time that is about all. I find weebly easy to use, but was struggling with getting the cursor uploaded. I tried multiple ways to get it uploaded and had no problem with any of the widgets or things we had to upload.

I chose to review the two websites: and

Both sites I love and have gotten MANY resources from them. They both have information for the whole classroom and activities for each subject.

This is something I have wanted to learn how to do for some time now. How to put landscape and portrait documents together. I found this helpful link to do that.

Another thing I had been wondering how to do was to take pictures of your computer in stills. This YouTube video was short and to the point.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What I've Been Up To

I have made a few more things that I want to use in my classroom next year and while doing that I have also come across a few items that I had used when I taught Kindergarten. I finally have gotten around to sorting my file folder games into bins. This is the am bin and I also made one for my pm class. This is a picture of my special helper container for one class.
Editor Checklist Editor's Checklist that I used when I taught Kindergarten.
Truck Counting Mats I saw truck counting mats on Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds and created some of my own. You can have the students add blocks to the back of the truck. Litte Miss Glamour had done the game Trash or Treasure so I created a simplified version to use with my students. Some paper has nothing and the others have the alphabet or numbers.
Trash or Treasure
Special Helper I made out of old Clorox wipe containers Special Helper containers where the previous days special helper will get to pick out a popsicle stick with the new special helper's name on it. In my classroom I have worm manipulatives that are different size so I made sorting mats for the kids to sort the worms by small, medium, and large.
Size Worm Sorting Mat This is a Mr. Potato Head prompt for my students. Some of them still at the end of the year had a difficult time just creating a Mr. Potato head independently.
Mr Potato Head
Writer Workshop Song This was the Writer's Workshop song we used to sing in Kindergarten to know we were transitioning. The tune is If You're Happy and You Know It. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This and That

During Ethan's naps I have had the opportunity to make some of the pinterst projects and am finally going to post some pictures of what we did in our classroom that I have not had the opportunity to do. Here are pics of what I have been up to:
 In the Small, Small Pond paitning. Some of the pictures we drew and the kids got to paint.

  Spring Kites that are marble painted.

 Turtles with tissue paper shells.

 Handprint giraffes

 Wiggle Worm game (pinterest inspired). I put the "worms" in a bucket and the kids draw a worm and tell me what shape is on the bottom of the worm. At the top of the worm is a smiley face and if you got a squiggle at the bottom the class has to stand up and wiggle.

 Jellyfish made from contact paper for the top. Peel the contact paper and sprinkle some glitter. Fold in half and at the bottom add extra laminated paper.

 Penguin shape game. See below for bellies and instructions.

Penguin Match Game-print 2 Pages

 3 little pig homes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Playroom Sign and freebies

Here are a few more things I have been working on while Ethan naps. I saw a similar playroom rules sign on and thought it would be the cutest thing for Ethan's playroom downstairs. I also created a fall leaves book based on the poem I found on pinterest.

Playroom Rules Letter Apple Sort Fall Leaves Fall Leaves Poem I am going to use the fall leaves poem leaves and add velcro. The students will bring the leaves up as I read the poem to them. Do You See My Apple Tree Counting Baskets

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Currently

I have been loving summer break. I have finally been able to catch up on a lot of stuff that I have been putting off for a long time. I did the June currently (finally have had time to do that too!) Link up at Oh Boy Fourth Grade!

I have started to create a few things to use in the fall. I will be taking two classes and if the beginning of this past year was anything like last year time will be of the essence. Enjoy the freebies!

Color Apple Sort Big vs Little Apple Sort ABC Letter

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reflection 6

Creating a Blackboard course was definitely pretty user friendly. I liked all the options you had to customize the page to make it your own. I was able to upload documents, websites, the YouTube video, and prezi presentation no problem. Creating the quiz was a bit challenging because the site kept timing out on me, but overall everything was easy to manuever and adjust to what I wanted to do with the course site. Reading all three articles about being a successful online student I found to be helpful and definitely true. I definitely agree that you need to be open minded and able to commit between 4-15 hours. I have found myself working more in my online classes than in classes that I attend because the discussion board has to be checked regularly and the new programs I have had to use this class has been very new to me so it has taken longer than writing up a paper. I found an addition site that had suggestions on how students can be successful in an online class. Something that was harder to find information on was what does it take to create a successful online class. This was one of the few sites that provided suggestions. There were lots of links to programs on how to teach you to develop one, but no specific sites with just tips. I did find one with just a few suggestions.
How Students Develop Online Learning Skills

Create an Online Class

Fetal Alcohol Sydrome Inspiration Map

There are two links that cannot be seen from the map, but unfortunately the one I had posted that had some facts and was pretty brief has been removed. The one is:

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Image

Monday, June 11, 2012

Classroom Rules

I am going to be teaching summer school in a couple of weeks so I have updated my classroom rules and weather chart because they were getting worn and discolored. I made sure to color code the rules to separate each rule. When I visited an Autism classroom last year they said having each rule be a different color helps the students to help differentiate each rule. I have included the rules and weather chart if you would like them.
Classroom Rules Weather Chart

Saturday, June 9, 2012

School's Out for Summer!

I am definitely pumped to be done with school! The end of the school year was super chaotic to say the least! IEPs up until the last day of school and having to be out of the building the last week of school for a two hour long meeting. It was just super chaotic and the kids were definitely anxious. A couple of activities we did the last couple of weeks of school was ABC fishing. I had made some fish and put a letter on each. Then, I places a paperclip at the fish's mouth and we used a magnetic wand as our "fishing pole". The kids have loved this activity all year long. We marked the fish with bingo markers (another favorite). I split the alphabet in half so it wasn't quite so overwelming for my little ones.

ABC Fish Mat We also did bottle cap numbers. I had used water bottle caps and put the numbers 1-20 on it and the kids filled in the missing numbers with the bottle caps. Bottle Cap Numbers We also did the Colorful fish book to reinforce colors for my morning class. Colorful Fish In addition to that we got out the water table and went fishing, blew lots of bubbles and played with sidewalk chalk. I am definitely going to miss my afternoon class as they all go onto Kindergarten at all different schools next year, but I am definitely looking forward to the summer to spend time with Ethan and during his naps, which he is finally taking doing some crafts and getting things ready for next school year!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Reflection 5

Reflection 5

I found Inspiration to not be as user friendly as some of the website apps that we had to evaluate. I just found it harder to manipulate some of the items because there was not an individual icon. I also did not like that you could not insert images from the computer. You could insert pictures from a website, but that was it.

I liked the article, “See What I Mean: The Power of Visual Learning”. I agree that “Visuals improve the learning process and quicken your ability to make connections” and that “We each possess separate cognitive systems for processing visual and verbal material. Our capacity for meaningful learning increases when we tap into the power of both”. I find this especially true for special needs students as visuals are such a big part of our everyday teaching and learning.

In the article, “How Digital Tools Prepare Students for the 21st Century”, I agree that students need to learn the content rather than the task. I also would agree that creating map is a strategy to learn, organize, comprehend and recall information and increase comprehension. I do wonder though how many schools are using these tools. We don’t have a computer teacher at my school and the classroom teacher is supposed to have computer time once a week. Are the teachers teaching the students how to use Inspiration and other tools like that? From what I have seen passing by the computer lab I would say no. Most of the time students are playing games on a website. I also wonder how many of the teachers know how to use these tools. I also think we are behind in math and science because of the pressure teachers are getting to get through the curriculum, rather than teaching the skills until the whole class gets them. So many kids are not learning the basic skills and as the math and science gets more advanced they are falling more and more behind because they do not have the base to build on. Common Core is suppose to correct this problem because there is more stress on understanding and explaining why you are doing certain strategies.

Also, if you have not used google docs it is a great resource and this link is very helpful in learning how to import to google docs.

This site also has some great lists and links to web 2.0 tools

Internet Evaluations-Concept Map

Internet Resource Evaluations:

I could use Gliffy with other teachers to create classroom floor plans. We could create a diagram of our classroom and see if certain room arrangements would work or not. Students can use the Venn Diagram option and we can talk about how certain items are the same and different (animals, clothing that can be worn, food, etc.). I can use Gliffy with parents by making a chart of the development of the reading or writing skills in young children. Parents can see what skills are learned first and then what follow the steps of development. This can serve as a comparison of where their child is developmentally and where we are striving them to be. Gliffy may be used with the community to show the steps in how preschool students are placed. Students come in to the screener; need further testing (speech testing) and then what program is appropriate for them based off the results.

I found Gliffy to be pretty easy to use overall. Everything was labeled on the right side so it was easy to move around, click on the pencil to edit the items, and templates were provided. There were also a variety of templates for all different purposes available. The flexibility of design was great with lots of options for types of charts you want: Venn diagram, flowchart, network diagrams, floor plans, software design, etc. The ability to correct mistakes seemed user friendly as you could click on the item and like in Prezi correct it by hitting the pencil. Lots of media could be added and was again very easy to add by clicking on the pencil. Images were available on the program or you could upload your own. Under the site map option you could choose what you would like to add (video, script, website, Microsoft word, PowerPoint, or excel options) and then were able to upload to blog or Google docs.

The cost for standard was $4.95 and pro $9.95 per month or per user. This seemed reasonably priced especially if you are going to be using it often for work or in school. The $4.95 per month included 200 charts which seem like a lot for one user. The security seemed good. You were able to try the program before signing up, which was a nice feature.


I could use this as a tool with my students to provide visuals. We could sort categories and show what belongs in each category. I could use this with parents to show what type of activities through pictures we do in our classroom to help students increase their skills. I could share visuals of teaching techniques or new manipulatives to other teachers. I can use Popplet with the community to show visuals of activities, events being done in the school and can show pictures of needed materials to make events successful, and to share facts about the ECSE classroom.

I found Popplet to be very user friendly. I liked how it showed a nine step introduction on how to use it. The flexibility of design was excellent. There were lots of color options, the icons make it easy to add items you want and I found the pencil to draw moved pretty smoothly. It was also easy to drag ideas that connect to main idea/ concept. It was easy to change colors because you just have to click on the icon to edit the color. You were able to share your creation with others on YouTube, Facebook, a blog, or via e-mail and you were able to export via pdf or jpeg. The ability to correct mistakes was simple because you would just click on the icon for what you wanted to correct and it gave you options to add to or to clear images or the particular item. The media that could be added included images from Facebook, your computer, YouTube, and Flickr

    The cost was free. I didn’t see a cost for any upgrades or anything. The security seemed safe. You had to login and agree to their user terms.


I could I use this as a tool with my students to create diagrams of how things are related (clothes- seasons- what do we wear). I could use this with my classroom parents to show what skills are needed for each skill area (fine motor, gross motor, speech and language and early academics). Slatebox can be used with other teachers by making a diagram of the steps in referring a child to ECSE so that everyone is following the same process. Slatebox can be used with the community to show how we have increased skills from the beginning of year to the end of the year through a concept map.

Again, I found this program easy to use. You are able to export as png. It too had a one click wheel that shows the different options of what you want to change, edit, or delete. The flexibility of design was great. You are able to change shapes and colors of the map and click arrows to add additional boxes to map. The ability to correct mistakes was simple because under the wheel icon it provided the option to delete or click on icon and correct an individual item. You are able to add links and embed images.

The cost was free for 1 user and then the cost would increase as you added users, but the capabilities also increase. The security seemed good with a login and user agreement. You are able to share through embedding items or exporting as png and can share a link to collaborate with peers, which is a nice feature. Also, with increased users it looks like everyone receives their own username under a group name.

I liked all of these programs and would possibly use Popplet in my own classroom as I found it to be the most affordable and user friendly of all three.