Monday, February 28, 2011

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Giveaway!

Amanda at One Extra Degree: Confessions of a Teachaholic  and  Deanna at Mrs. Jump's Class or hosting an amazing giveaway! I'm so excited to let all of you know.  Get in on the fun, who knows... maybe you'll win their amazing unit! Good luck to all! :)

Messy-Free Mondays just got more organized!

 Happy Monday Bloggettes!

I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend! I know I sure did! I'll make todays post quick since its my husband's 28th Birthday... but I just wanted to share this fabulous tip with you so check out the tab up top for "Messy-Free Mondays!"

 Also, be sure and check out the daily tabs for new ideas... I'll try and post on them regularly or as I create/find new amazing things!  Hope today's tip is helpful in making your classroom a little less messy!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dr. Seuss Unit Giveaway

Good Luck to Everyone who enters!!!

So exciting! Erica Bohrer and Donna from Kinderglynn have gotten together to host an amazing Dr. Seuss Unit giveaway.  To enter the contest, click on the link below...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday! is simply... Fabulous!

Check out my tab "Fabulous Finds Friday!" to see all of the fabulous bargains I find in stores and online.  This friday... I feature a fabulous find at my favorite vacation home... Target! You won't want to miss out, so click on the tab! I promise you won't regret it!!!

Happy Bargain Shopping! And enjoy the well-deserved weekend!

Talented Ideas Thursday!

Talented Ideas Thursday!

The idea behind "Talented Ideas Thursday!" is for me to have an area on the blog where I can organize all of my lesson plan and work station ideas that I have either created and used or ideas that I have thought up but have not had the opportunity to use as of yet.  Either way, I hope the ideas will provide you with some inspiration to work on your lesson planning or to make some changes to your Work Stations.  The featured idea for this Thursday is... 

Ladybug Math

To learn how to create these "Grouchy" Ladybugs please click on the "Talented Ideas Thursday!" tab at the top of the page.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whimsical Book Wednesdays is Officially Here so get your Book Nook's Ready!

The featured storybook for Whimsical Book Wednesday is...

Never Too Little to Love

For book description and Printable Activities, click on the "Whimsical Book Wednesdays!" tab above. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TLC Art: Teaching Little Children Art

I'm trying to create different tabs for each day of the week so I can be a little more organized with my posts, which will in turn make it easier for all of you to navigate through my blog to find what you are looking for in a "faster than fast, quicker than quick"(from Disney Cars, my stepson is OBSESSED with it!) way.

So, check out the new tab "Terrific Resource Tuesdays" which will feature, as the name implies, Terrific Resources that I find totally terrific! Hope they are totally terrific and amazing to you too! Enjoy! :)

 (Mrs. Wishy Washy TLC Art Sample)

Happy Creating!

Sticky the Bookworm's Guide to Caring for Books!

I just created a darling little book, I rhymed as much as I could because I think it just sounds cuter! The book is presented by "Sticky the Bookworm" and he explains throughout the mini-book how to properly care for books.  This is a great teaching tool for large group in any classroom, which can be used the first weeks of school so that children learn to take care of your books properly and/or it can be read throughout the school year if you see that the student's need a little reminder.  I am very big on literacy and I've had one too many books from my private collection take a trip to book heaven (the garbage can) because they have been mistreated and mishandled.  Students need to be taught to respect, not only their materials, but also their teacher's materials.  I hope this mini-book will help students achieve that in your classrooms.  Feel free to print it out, but please do not remove my name...seeing as the text was written by me! All of the images used throughout the book were found online via Google Images Search. Enjoy! :)

Happy Reading!

Sticky the Bookworm's Guide to Caring for Books

Click on the link below to download the Mini-Book!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rain Gutter Bookshelves for your Book Nook!

Check out my NEW tab! It's called: Messy-Free Mondays!.  I will be posting a new organization tip every Monday.  Some ideas will be my own and others will be ideas that I find neat and I feel would be helpful to teachers in their classrooms! Hope you enjoy it!

The first organizational tip is:  Rain Gutter Bookshelves for Your Book Nook!

Rain, Rain Go Away! I need the Gutters for Today!

To view the post, please click the tab "Messy-Free Mondays" next to the "Home" tab under THE TEACHING BUG heading at the top of the website page. 

Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?

For those of you who are not aware of what "Bucket Fillers" are, then please visit this website: Bucket Fillers 101.  In a nutshell, the Bucket Filling concept is that we all carry around invisible buckets, which is where we store our good thoughts and feelings, when our buckets are full we are happy and when our buckets are empty then we are sad.  By filling each others buckets (gratitude, compassion, kindness, positive comments, etc.) we fill our own and by 'dipping' in each others bucket (negative comments, bullying, put downs, etc.) we are dipping into our own too.  The book "Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud explains and demonstrates this concept to children with beautifully written text and illustrations. 

 When I went to the Target Dollar Spot the other afternoon, I found this really cute white tin pail with a bow on it and I thought it would be perfect for classrooms that are "Bucket Fillers".  I plan on implementing the bucket filling approach when I start teaching again... but for now I thought I'd share the idea with all of you so you could use it in your classrooms. 
(Before the Makeover: Plain ol' white bucket)

They had them in various solid colors (pastel: pink, yellow, blue, etc.) and some even had print (polka dots, stripes, etc.) on the buckets.  I purchased a white one so that it would match with any color bulletin board paper or fabric.

(Here's the bucket once I drew the famous "bucket filler face" on it with a Sharpie)
*Note: I used the side WITHOUT the bow because the bow was in the way and the "bucket filler" bucket from the book does not have a bow on its head! 

Foam Stars (smiley face) and Construction Paper Stars

I had these foam shapes and construction paper star cutouts in my art supplies bin and I decided that they would be perfect for the bucket!  I'm not sure where I purchased them, but my guess is that it was either at Michael's or Get Smart!  The foam stars (the ones with the happy face) come in a pack with the other shapes seen above (clouds, moon sun) and the pack comes with different sizes of each shape so the rest of the shapes could also be saved and used with the students later on in the Math Station for sorting activities.  Just an idea!
(Materials I used for my bucket: 1 Foam Star and 9 construction paper star cutouts and my trusty glue gun!)

I used the materials listed below the picture above, but if you prefer the stars with the faces then you can use those instead of the construction paper star cutouts (its more cost effective though to use the construction paper cutouts because if you have to make 20 buckets for your classroom then you'll need MANY packets of the foam shapes stars!) Also, the packet of construction paper star cutouts brings like 100 stars in each pack and since they don't have faces on them it doesn't distract from the famous "bucket filler face" and it makes it look cute and neat instead of a smiley face overload! I love me some smiles, but it just seemed a bit much and I wanted to keep the buckets looking clutter-free.

 The finished bucket (front) 

You can have students personalize their buckets (with  tiny star stickers: multi-colored, gold, silver, etc.) and you can add each child's name with a sharpie above the eyes or below the mouth.

The finished bucket (back)

The foam star smiley is covering the two holes from where I removed the white bow.  Once all of the buckets are finished you can create a bulletin board display in your classroom with the heading: "Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?" or "Room (insert room number) Kids Are Bucket Fillers!" or "We Fill Our Buckets with Hearts and Smiles" or "How Full is Your Bucket?" etc.  Here's a sample bulletin board (using different buckets of course, but its to give you an idea of what it would look like).

This lovely bulletin board was made by Stephanie @  She did an amazing job!

Here's the link to one of the forms that can be used to fill the buckets: Bucket Filler Form .  I got the form from Miss Powell's website: ; Take a look around her site she has some amazing resources and ideas! :)

Happy Bucket Filling!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Bee"lieve in You! Kits: Made by Me!

Here are some boxes I came up with to use for classroom management and they also serve to help teacher's stay organized with their materials in one place.  One box is used for my teaching stamps and the other is used as a rewards box (a.k.a treasure box).  Both of these classroom management tools can be used in various ways and were created because as a teacher I "Bee"lieve in You! (the students)... which is where I came up with my signature name: "Bee"lieve in You! Kits.  I came up with the idea for these boxes because I got online one day to find a reward kit that I could gift to a friend of mine who was graduating with her Bachelor's in Education and the only reward-type boxes I could find online were some cardboard boxes with 100 toys inside and I thought to myself "these boxes will never make it through a whole school year!" So, I decided to make my own.  I visited my local craft store, Michael's (my third vacation home; next to Target and Dollar Tree) and I found some unfinished wood boxes and wooden shapes (giraffe, cloud and heart [which is used on the stamp box disguised as a strawberry painted by me, it is not sold in stores as a strawberry it is simply an unfinished wood heart]) and voila'! I gave each box a theme and let my imagination run wild... below is the finished products.  I don't mind if you take my ideas and use them as your own, I simply ask that you be respectful and give credit where credit is due.  I present to you... My "Bee"lieve in You! Kits... Enjoy :)

P.S. All of the contents in the "Rewards to Get WILD About" Kit can be found in Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot.  You just need to be creative and find items that come in bulk so that if more than one student likes an item they have a higher probability that when it is their turn to go pick a reward that there will still be some inside the box.  The majority of the stamps found inside the "Berry SWEET Stamps" box came from the dollar section in Michael's. 

If you have any questions on how to make any of my "Bee"lieve in You! Kits, please do not hesitate to email me at:

 Berry SWEET Stamps

 Rewards to Get WILD About

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Taste a Rainbow Cupcakes

As I was surfing the internet this morning for some St. Patty's Day recipes, I came across this amazing recipe... it looks like so much fun to make and I'm sure that students would get a kick out of this cooking activity.  I found the recipe @ Family Fun!  These cupcakes would be a great follow-up activity for the storybooks about color mixing: Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh or Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni!!! Enjoy! :)

  • White cake mix (we used an 18-1/4-ounce box)
  • Food coloring (red, blue, green, and yellow)
  • Baking cups
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  1. Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.

    Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops
    Blue 12 drops
    Green 12 drops
    Yellow 12 drops
    Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops
    Red 18 drops

  2. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.
  3. Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Whole Brain Teaching: Kindergarten (Expanded!)

This is something new I learned about today and thought I would share it with all of you. It's called "Whole Brain Teaching" and the classroom management techniques this teacher uses in her classroom are out of this world! Enjoy! :)

To find out more on this type of instruction, go to:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teaching Aprons- Created By Me

This Alphabet Apron is my pride and joy! I created it recently; It was A LOT of work but it was worth it and I'm sure you'll agree that it came out amazing.  I'll be working on a Math Apron next.  I can't wait to finish my internship so I can get back into a classroom and use them!

Alphabet Apron

I created this apron to be worn by teachers.  It is very easy to make, which makes it all the more appealing.  I created all of the animals/objects out of felt and the letters are silver, glitter iron-ons.  The apron is just an adult-sized apron which can be purchased at any craft store along with the iron-on letters and the felt.  Don't forget your glue gun! I don't know what I'd do without my handy-dandy glue gun! :)

Ideas for use:  Apron can be worn when going over the Alphabet, Word Wall Words, Alphabet Poetry, Singing Alphabet Songs, and especially if you use the AlphaTales books or the Frog Street Press "Sing & Read" Alphabet in your classroom.  Basically, any time you are doing ANYTHING that involves the use of the alphabet you can put on the apron and make the instruction all that more fun and appealing to students, plus they'll get a kick out of you wearing a silly apron!  

I am a big fan of AlphaTales, which is where I got the inspiration for this apron!!!

Teaching Aprons - Created By Me

I have attended several conferences and have tweeked some of the things that I have seen.  One conference in particular, which I loved was a Conscious Discipline workshop by Dr. Becky Bailey.  Following are two of my most treasured teaching possessions, my student greeting aprons.

Morning Meeting: Greeting Apron

This apron is used during Morning Meeting or if you have a "Greeter" on your job chart it works well too.  The student puts on the apron and walks up to each student and asks them something like this, "Good morning! I'm so glad you're here; how would you like to be greeted today?" The student then either points or states which greeting he/she chooses.  The greeter then proceeds to carry out the desired greeting with the student.  There are other variations that can be created for this apron, but these are just some that I chose.  Note: The "Wiggly Handshake" is one that I invented! The students put their hands together as if they are going to shake hands, except instead of shaking hands both students wiggle their fingers on their shaking hand.  I have found that the "wiggly handshake" works better than the traditional handshake with students because students tend to turn the handshake into a game, which then quickly becomes a disruption.  For example, a student might try to squeeze the other students hand and/or do an exaggerated handshake with their entire arm and upper body rocking back and worth, neither of which is very helpful and quickly turns this exercise into a game.  So, when creating these aprons be sure and think carefully about what you'd like the students to do with the gestures because things could get out of hand.

Afternoon Ritual: Goodbye Apron
Here is the afternoon apron.  This apron can be used with students at the end of the day to transition from school activities into afterschool activities or simply used at the end of the Recap Meeting at the end of your school day.  I personally used this apron after I did my 5-10 minute recap with the students at the end of the school day.  Using this apron at the end of the day was a good closure activity for the students and left them with a smile on their faces before the day was over.  Again, the animals and ideas on this apron are my personal choices and creations and if you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them! Gestures can be created to go with each choice on this apron or the students can simply say the verses to each other.

I am happy to provide my fellow teachers and bloggers with these ideas and many more, but please be respectful and give credit when using my ideas.  

For more on Conscious Discipline, please visit the site:  Loving Guidance

Check out my Target Dollar Section Finds

It never seizes to amaze me the wonderful materials that the Target dollar section provides! It just takes a keen eye and lots of on-the-spot creativity to find uses for all of their wonderful items.  Here are some things I found today...

Mini Board Books for the Student Library

 Since Spring is around the corner, Target has already begun to bring out the spring books... check out these cute books I got for $1 each.  Critter Colors is a mini board book that teaches students about different colors using images of various bugs and critters.  The Critter Colors book will be an amazing tool to use for teaching colors as well as adjectives and verbs (For example, on one of the pages it says "GREEN Grasshopper Jumping").   Likewise, the Critter Count mini board book counts down from 10-1 so the book can be used to practice counting and you can even make a class BIG book out of it with different bugs that the children come up with.  The book also features the use of funny adjectives, which are used to describe the types of critters featured on each page (For example, "5 Smelly Stinkbugs"). Pat Them Gently is such a sweet mini book, it teaches children how to properly approach and treat new animals that they may encounter.  I thought this book was a great find because children should be aware of how to handle our animal friends for their safety as well as the animals.  The book is written as a rhyme (For example, "When you meet a pet, don't touch it yet...") and has really cute pictures, if you head over to Target make sure and pick one of these up, you won't regret it! Lastly, Beetle's Bug Party, this was actually the first book of the 4 that I found and I was so excited about it that I kept looking for more! This is also a counting book, it counts down from 8-1 and is a very whimsical book about different bugs that make their way to the Bug Party. The illustrations by Jo Parry are just adorable... I would absolutely LOVE to do a classroom bug unit and finish it off with a Bug Party! And speaking of bugs, check out my next find!!!

Bug Magnifying Glasses

The minute I saw these I just had to get them! Aren't they fantastic?! So, as I was grabbing them I thought of an amazing use for them besides the obvious, of course.  I thought that they would be excellent to use in the Big Books Station in the classroom.  Students could use them to practice finding high frequency words, sight words, etc. in the storybooks.

My last find of the day was some Valentine's Day stuff.  Whenever a holiday is over, Target features everything that was in the store for that holiday in a Seasonal section of their store and the items are anywhere from 30%-75% off...

Valentine's Day BINGO & Silicone Ice Trays
As I stated before, all of the seasonal merchandise was on sale so I purchased the BINGO game ($2.50) for my "Quiet Mouse Activities" Station  and these amazing 2 Pack Heart Silicone Ice Trays ($1.25) for my Math Station.  I figured that the Heart Ice Trays can be used with Conversation Candy Hearts.  The trays could be cut in half to make 4 trays or they could be left as is and using a permanent marker you can write numbers on each heart so that the students can count the candy hearts and place the correct amount into each heart slot on the ice tray or you could even count by 2's and write those numbers on the ice trays.  Also, the trays could be used to play Mancala (for older students).

So, that was pretty much all that I found at the Target Dollar Section today. Pretty neat, huh?! Well, if you have any suggestions or would like to comment just let me know.  I'd love to talk! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Month of Love- Things I LOVE

This will probably be my last blog for tonight, UNLESS I find something really amazing online while I'm surfing and I feel compelled to share.  Since we are in February and it is the Month of Love, I figured the best way for you to get to know me is to share with you some of my LOVES! The list below, is in no particular order and I don't think I would survive (on a stranded island, or otherwise) without them! Here goes nuthin!


1. My wonderful and supportive husband, William.
2. My Bichon Frise (dog), Cinderella.
3. Diet Coke! Just seeing the name makes me sigh and say "ahhhh".  It is truly an experience for the taste buds!
4. Starbucks! Specifically, I love me a White Chocolate Frap... Hot! OR a Vanilla Latte... Hot! And on the rare monthly occassion where I need a chocolate overload I am known to be seen with a Tall Java Chip Frap... Cold!
5. I am obsessed with Target, especially the dollar section! Bless my husband's heart as he stands there waiting for me with the cart so that it is not in the way of the narrow aisles of the dollar section.
6. I love Dollar Tree!!! Thank heavens for all of their amazing products and especially their teacher product line.
7. Where would I be without, where I can usually shop to my hearts content at home and in my pj's (Speaking of jammies, I love them too)! They have amazing deals on teacher resource books and children's storybooks.
8. Sushi, Thai and Pizza... I have no idea where I'd be without you.  You rock my taste buds and my tummy!
9. Thrift stores, Garage Sales, Goodwill... all amazing places where I can find Dr.Seuss books and other amazing storybooks for anywhere between $.25-$1.50!!! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! This is where I have built my children's books library from!
10. Last but certainly not least... my family, friends and the plethora of amazing teachers websites and blogs that inspire me and support me daily! Thank you all! :)

That's all for tonight!

Don't let the bed bugs bite (teaching bugs are okay though!)

P.S. Hopefully I will have some pictures to put up tomorrow.  Tomorrow is going to be an event-filled day with stops at my hotspots (target and dollar tree).  I'll be sure and let everyone know what deals I find.

Just Found Out About ANOTHER Amazing Giveaway!

Erica Bohrer is giving away a copy of her book! So....excited!

Check out her blog @

Amazing Give-A-Way!

Michelle from Fabulous in First is giving away all of her resources from her TpT store to one lucky individual.  Be sure and check out her amazing blogspot @

Good Luck!

First Day Blog Jitters!

Hi Everyone! :)
Welcome to my blog!  I am so excited that you stopped by.  I have so many wonderful ideas and activities to share and I hope that you find them useful.  I am still learning to navigate my way through this blog, but hopefully I will figure it out soon so I can begin adding helpful material that all of you can use.  In the meantime though, bare with me while I get the site up and running! I am so thankful to have encountered and (if you haven't been on either of these two amazing sites take a moment and check them out, you will not be disappointed), if I hadn't come across those two blogspots I would have never started blogging! I hope to meet all of you and I look forward to sharing my ideas with all of you and learning from your experiences.  Although I was a Pre-K 4 teacher for about 6 years I am currently in the last part of my bachelor's degree (in Elementary Education) and look forward to beginning my internship... THAT should be an interesting experience, to say the least! I promise to blog about it too but in the meantime I hope to share with you some of the tips that I have learned, ideas and activities that I have created and some of the amazing children's books and teacher resource books that I have come across.  To some, everything will seem new and to the seasoned teachers it may just be things that you can relate to.  Either way, I can't wait to hear from all of you and I hope to pass on the teaching bug!

Happy Teaching!