It's five for Friday time! Linkup with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching
1. We got learn pads for small group time in our classroom. I can't wait to explore it!

2. I found these fun snap cube patterns. Klever Kiddos has a variety of these patterns for different themes throughout the year and they are all free! I just printed the school ones as I am not sure if my kids will like doing them or not or if they will be too hard for them. We shall find out!

3. At the dollar tree I found these fun abc and number puzzles. These puzzles are a little different than some of the other ones I have because not only do they have to match the letter or number, they have to put them in alphabetical or numerical order!

4.  A freebie for you all!Some back to school freebies. You can get it here at tn or tpt.

Included is: cutting practice

Flip It, Say It, Stamp It

Same vs. Different Crayons

Freebie Fridays

5.Have a great weekend! : )

I do a lot of planning during the summer and just make changes as needed. During the school year I just don't have time to do a lot of planning because of writing up IEPs and meetings and such so I try to do as much of it during the summer as possible.

Since I have an AM and PM class and I have students that can be with me up to three years I try to change things up as much as possible. A way that I have found to make this easier is by keeping a giant binder of my previous years lesson plans with a copy of what I did with the kiddos. I take out the last three years binders and open them up to the same week and see what I did.

In the previous years binders I make notes of what worked, what the kids loved, what didn't work out well and what I would not suggest doing again. By looking at the previous years I am sure to keep things new for the kids that I will have for three years.

This is also great for getting all of my copies in order and helps with getting games prepared ahead of time. I am able to print and laminate the games during the summer and organize them for the start of the school so during the year when I am super busy I can just easily pull that game out. I do tweak activities if I feel that particular group is not ready for that activity or game, but at least the majority of the work is done!

The inside of the 2013-2014 binder...

Monthly calendar where I briefly jot down what I plan on doing. 

Lesson Plans

Copies of activities to be done. 

Do you do planning during the summer for the following year?!

This one is a combination of books. I  am loving Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie books!

I love how simple they are and how they have a great message for little ones to easily understand and relate too. I plan on using these books at the beginning of the year with my little ones to talk about sharing and emotions. Also, the pictures are simple and not cluttered so it is easy for the kids to focus on the message without getting distracted by something else on the page (which my kids can easily zone in on something not even related to what we are talking about!). I also love how the text is nice and big for all the kids to see!

My New Friend is So Fun!

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Can I Play Too?

Are You Ready to Play Outside?

My Friend is Sad

I found this cute pattern you can use to make elephant and piggie puppets to retell the story. The pattern is available at The Little Bird's North blog

What are some of your favorite books?! Link up with Mrs. Jump's Class to share some of your fav books and to find some other great books!

Last week, we had the opportunity to try making bouncy balls. It was super easy and worked pretty well.

The idea comes from the 36th Avenue blog.

All you need is:

  • ½ Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Tb Borax
  • 1 Tb of Cornstarch
  • 2 Tb White Liquid Glue
  • Food coloring

  1. In a cup mix the warm water and the borax.
  2. In another cup mix the glue, cornstarch, and food coloring.
  3. Pour the glue mixture into the water-borax cup.
  4. The glue mixture will harden after 10 seconds; use a fork to take it out of the water. If the glue mixture is still sticky, squish it with your hands and dip it back in the water.
  5. Roll the mixture in your hands to make a ball. The more you handle the mixture the firmer it will become.
  6. You are done!

The bouncy ball probably bounced about a foot off the ground and our ball took a little while to start bouncing. We had to play with it quite a bit before it would bounce (I am not sure if this is because of the humidity or not). Ethan loved making a bouncy ball and we played with it for the remainder of the day until it was permanently squashed and unable to be remolded into a ball. 

This is something that you could definitely do easily in the classroom too! :) Check out Fourth Grade Frolics for more fun ideas!

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