PAGES-TABS

Saturday, May 28, 2016

HUE Tip Sheet, Giveaway, and Tidbits

Happy Friday, and for many of you, Happy Summer. Me, well, I still have three weeks to go. I am here today to link with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching and Five for Friday to share in an animated way five fun things, AND the Downloadable HUE Tip Sheet, AND a chance to win a HUE Animation Studio... read on!

1.  Don't you just love reading what your kiddos write? Hearing their voice come out in the writing makes me grin all over. Each year I have my students write a thank you note to our group of parent helpers. I take their letters and run them through the copier, then use comb binding to form a book for each parent. This year we were under a deadline because of a schoolwide appreciation assembly and I had to hurry them along, even giving them a form. I wasn't sure if I'd get as much good stuff as usual. I did though– this was my favorite because it sounds just like her:


"Thank you for helping us learn in the Let's Find Out books, and helping us at library, and reading books. I love working with you guys. I love you. Fondly, Erin  p.s. How are you doing?"

2.  I am a lead teacher in our building. That means whenever our principal is out of school, "issues" fall to me or the other lead teacher. You know the "issues" I'm talking about... those notorious, short, two legged ones who shall remain nameless but who we could call "little stinkers." Well, yesterday both the principal and the other lead teacher where out, so I was it.... and as I mentioned we are in the last. three. weeks. of school.

Let me suffice by saying the day started with a monkey flying out the bus window... honest, I'm not making it up... it wasn't a live monkey though... and ended with an email home to parents where I suggested some good old fashioned father-son bear cub wrestling after dinner so the needed rough and tumble play could happen at home instead of school. From beginning to end it was a very interesting day, including school tours... and short staffing at lunchtime...and... I marveled on the way home that I could still even toy with the idea of being a principal in some distant time and place. If that should ever happen, maybe the best plan would be to be out the last few weeks of the school year and dodge end-of-year madness all together....

3.  And now for a mid-blog relaxation smile break. I just love this. Book me a ticket, please.





4.  As regular readers know, I am a sometimes storyteller and I love puppets. I found this video on YouTube of the most cleverly made puppet. You need to follow this young man because he is going places... and when his puppets come on the market, which there are sure to do at some point, I will be first in line. He has quite a few animated vides, some of which are quite funny, so you might want to check out his channel.




5.  And speaking of videos and animation... note that clever segue... I have the Tip Sheet for doing HUE animations with students DONE! And it's FREE!  And you can download it right after you enter the GIVEAWAY for the HUE Animation Studio HERE!!!!  The Animation Studio comes with the camera, the software, the nifty instruction book, and everything you need.  Get one try by following me, and one try by following my friend Stephanie at Forever in Fifth Grade. Small print- due to HUE shipping restrictions, the Studio Animation can only be sent to addresses in the US. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


In case you're curious about what you can do with the HUE Animation Studio, here are two animated videos that I made with my kindergarten students. They are just seconds long.








Is it difficult? Does it take a long time? Can MY students do it? You probably have these questions and more. To find some answers, check out last week's post HERE!

AND download the tip sheet I made up just to help you create your own animations... after you win the studio... or after you purchase your own... which are about $70. Well worth the price for the HD document camera and the animation kit.  Click on image to download the Tip Sheet.


Oh, I hope, hope, hope a person who is going to get as much fun out of the kit as my kiddos and I have done WINS!!

Scoot on back to Kacey for more FIVES!! 



Thanks for stopping by!  


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Putting Together Some HUE Animation Projects

So happy to be posting today about my HUE Animation Studio and the videos that my kidpeople and I made with it. Today I'm going to share about the process with the help of Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday linky.



Here are our two animation videos we've done thus far. This is the World Premiere of Winter to Spring. Whoot!




And here is our first one, A Day at the Races, which I posted on Tuesday.




What'cha think? Fun, eh? I am so very happy that HUE gave me the kit to use. And I am so happy that they are going to give one to one lucky blogger! Yep. Later in this post you'll have a chance to enter to win a HUE Animation Studio. You can find out how this came about if you look at my last post here.

I guess I must start by being completely honest– when I first knew the kit was coming my way and I knew I had to do a project AND post about it for the world to see, I sort of hit the panic button. WHAT if I couldn't make it work? WHAT if I couldn't come up with an idea that my kindergarten students could do? How was I going to involve them all? WHAT had I gotten myself into THIS time??

I will share the process we used to come up with our videos in five steps. The process was messy and somewhat serendipitous and not as neat as it looks here in five steps, I can tell you that.  It is only after the fact that I can organize my thoughts so that, hopefully, they will help you as you think about using animation with your kiddos. Here we go.

1.  Coming Up with a Project
First of all, I set three goals for myself and my students– we were going to learn how to make an animated video, our animation project was going to be an extension of current classroom learning, and we going to have fun!

I scanned YouTube for videos to get ideas. Thinking about my kindergartners, I found two videos that were most inspirational in their style. This one that brings clay to life:



And this one that uses a photo character.



You can find lots of videos done with HUE on the HUE YouTube Channel. Click below.



Then I brainstormed (with DH Jonathan, my partner in crime on so many projects) about how claymation or photographed characters could lend learning to our current topics under discussion in class. I thought perhaps the topic of spring and worms could somehow become videos. And because we were in the poetry unit, perhaps we could incorporate poetry. It would be pretty easy for my kinders to make clay worms, I thought. And a group poem would be fun, too. A poem about worms? About spring? hmm... Well, with those ideas in mind I thought I'd get feedback from the kidpeople.

2.  Explaining the Process to My Students
When it came time to share with my students I showed them the two videos that I had found. They loved them, of course. I also showed them a couple little flip books that I had.



These really allowed them to see stop motion animation in a concrete way, because you could see each photo on each page, then see them go by quickly as you flipped, making them look like a movie.

Kids love flipbooks and they are a great resource to have as you discuss animation. You can order them here at Fliptomania.com. They also have them in action on the site, so your kiddos can get the idea even if you don't have the books. Here's one about fairies:



You can visit their site by clicking below. Be sure to look at the flipbooks ahead of time before showing them to your kids, though. Many are child appropriate, but not all.



I explained how the camera would take one picture, then we'd move our characters a bit and take another picture. And repeat, just like the photos on each page of the book did.

Then I told them we needed to come out with a plan or a story that we wanted to tell. I asked them if they thought they could make clay worms– they all said yes– and I said the worms would need to do something. Their suggestions were– come out of their holes, eat something, race? Racing won, hands down. We had to discuss how they would race and where. Underground wouldn't quite do it, but a "race track" would.

3.  Everybody's Role
So now I had everybody wanting to make a worm and everybody wanting to make a racetrack. I feared this would be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.... hmmm...

When I got home, there staring at me on the table where they had been sitting for months, were these little cut out figures of my students. I took the photos back in January and cut them out for a snowglobe project that never came to be. I played with one of them and thought about how the pose helped them cartwheel without too much effort. Too bad the kids had been wearing snow gear for the photos as they were rather outdated for a project now in April with spring just around the corner... or at least that's what the kids and I had taken to saying often in the last weeks. Spring was long in the coming this year... Ah, ha. How about if these kids in snowsuits transformed into kids in spring clothes?

I took the snow geared figures to school the next day and we talked about how we could use animation to let the characters go from dressed for snow to dressed for spring. Out came the iPhone to take pics of the kids posing in cartwheel poses. I spent the evening cutting out the spring versions of my cartwheeling kids... I'm afraid this required too fine a cutting task to be undertaken by kindergartners.



Back at school the next day, I set up the camera for the first time. The HUE camera connects to your laptop and the software allows you to see what the camera is currently looking at, and what photo you last took. It is incredibly easy to use. I hooked up my laptop to our classroom projector so all the kiddos could see the process. I took a series of photos, making one of the students cartwheel in her snowsuit across the tabletop, switching out the snowsuited figure halfway though into the same student in spring clothes. It was very crude with choppy movement but the kids loved it. We brainstormed what the set should look like and decided it made sense for the kids to roll down a hill, and maybe they could "change their clothes" behind a tree.

Now that we had two productions underway I was more confident everyone could do a job. I made a list and let kids sign up: worm making, set production of the racetrack, or set production of the hill. Everyone got to work and we spent the better part of an afternoon picking and choosing from the wide variety of materials I pulled out of the art supply closet.


The worm making table was coming out with all sorts of worm creations. They tried making worms from clay, playdough, ribbons, yarn– all of them with googly eyes, of course. I didn't know which worms would end up in the final production but they were having lots of creative fun making them. There was even a bit of scientific talk.

Student 1: "Real worms don't have eyes, but they do have light sensors."
Student 2: "These ARE light sensors."



The worm racetrack group was especially taken with the shredded brown paper as that looked like dirt that worms would race in. I helped them decide on a route.



To help the track stay nice and clear, I told them to outline the track with Wikki Stix. They used lots of glue to cover the rest of the paper with the shredded paper.

The hill set builders were very busy but lots of scribbled coloring was making their pictures look pretty busy. I was afraid the little cartwheeling figures would get lost in the background.



I suggested that instead of the whole paper being filled with coloring, they would use blue paper for the sky, white for the snow, and green for the grass. I help them trace the paper so it looked like the hill they had created and they cut out and puzzled together the three colors to make a new hill. We found a very simple tree on the internet and one little guy patiently cut that out, leaving some white for snow on the branches. Several others got to work with paper punches to make the snow, leaves, flowers, and even the sun.




We had a discussion during all of this about what the movies could be called. As they kept coming up with racing themed ideas, I told them that there was an old music CD that I used to listen to (okay, so my Queen album was vinyl, but that would have been too much of a history lesson) and an old famous movie called A Day at the Races. That won by a smidge over A Day at the Worm Races. Winter to Spring made sense to everyone without much discussion.

The kids headed home happy with their work and with anticipation of the poem we would write the next day that would serve as the sound track. I puzzled over that poem for a while. It wouldn't be hard to write a poem with general group input, we had done that several times already during workshop. But I wanted all of them to be recorded. So this poem needed to have a pattern and a part for each of them to say....

Back in November we wrote a class poem called NOvember. I blogged about it here.  How about if we all contributed one line that illustrated something that changed from winter to spring like we had done in the NOvember poem with summer to winter? I thought this was an idea we could run with, and sure enough, every student contributed the next day when it was time to create our poem. We had boots to sneakers, cocoa to lemonade, bare to bud. I wrote down our poem as we came up with it, then cut the lines apart and handed them out to each student. We gathered in a circle and practiced saying our lines. Then I turned on Garage Band on my laptop and although it took several takes, we had our soundtrack for Winter to Spring! Yippee! I figured I could come up with sound effects for the racetrack movie. I had a couple of the kids record a few racing sounds just to have available.

4.  Filming

The next day I had the camera set up and all the props ready to go when the students came back from lunch. I chose two worms made of clay because I thought they would be easier to move than some of the others, and they fit on the track best. I had to gently nix the notion that every worm was going to be able to race by explaining that not every actor who goes to Hollywood gets into a movie. Luckily everyone was pretty distracted with a chance to move the worms around and click the camera. We did really big movements so everyone could see the "story" that came out pretty quickly– Green Worm cheated by cutting out the loop and then Red Worm climbed over stuck Green Worm to win by a hair... with lots of debate on who should win. I played it back periodically and it was really choppy, with plenty of hands in the frames because the person with the camera was button happy, but they all got the idea.

Then we worked on getting the figures to cartwheel down the hill. That was a bit trickier. We ended up finding a pivotal point on each little character where somebody could place their finger to hold it while another student moved it a little. The HUE software shows an "onion skin" image of the previous photo as you go to take the next, so you can see exactly how much you are moving the figure frame by frame and that was VERY helpful. And because this took more time, even doing it pretty fast with big movements, I let everybody have free choice and then called over just a couple kids at a time to get a chance at filming. I also had a couple of my kids with neat handwriting make the title credits, knowing we would need those in the final production, too.

5.  Editing and Behind the Scene Problem Solving
Okay, so at this point every student had been given the opportunity to participate in several levels of movie making. From character and set production, to poem writing, to audio recording, to actual filming. I was left with raw footage of two movies with lots of photos of little hands included, and a recorded poem.

Our audio recording of the poem was 41 seconds long and we only had about fifteen seconds of tumbling kids! Yikes. Granted, we hadn't used all the figures. (I didn't have figures of every student as I only used kids who were there on the days both photos were taken.) I knew that I would need to lengthen the movie as there wasn't a whole lot I could do with the recording. I played around with the settings of the shots- this is easy to do with the software. And I filmed the movie again, using smaller increments of movement as the kids came down the hill which equaled many more shots. This movie was still too short by a bit, so then it was a matter of showing the title credits by a few more seconds, which meant taking more shots of those sheets. I got it to fit! Look out George Lucas!!

I broke A Day at the Races into more shots, too. That movie could really be any length though, as my choice of sound effects was greater. Although I had the recordings of the kids making race car sounds, in the end I ended up purchasing racing sound effect tracks from iTunes. Being familiar with iMovie (which I am as I do an end of year movie for each class) was a big help in adjusting the fit of the sounds to the filming. You can slide the tracks around so that more or less of each sound is heard. Getting the race car sounds to fit the brief seventeen seconds of film was not too difficult.

WHEW! Congratulations for staying with me this far! It certainly was a process, but we all really love our movies and have watched them each a million times. I included both movies on the DVD of our end of year class movie and I know they will be watched a million times more at home, too– lucky parents. snort. The kids are very proud of their work.

Hopefully this post helps your own creative juices flow. HUE is going to post about our project on their blog, so I'm happy more teachers will see it. There really are SO MANY different things you can do with the Animation Studio. It could be applied to lots of classroom projects by kids of many ages, as my kindergarten students demonstrate with our projects. Next week my post will include a downloadable sheet of tips on making an animation. I hope it will be useful to anyone who wants to do an animation project with their students.

Now here's your chance to win the HUE camera and animation kit for yourself. I am giving it away with Stephanie over at Forever in Fifth Grade. If you follow me on Bloglovin' or email, and you follow her on TPT you can get TWO chances to win. I'm sorry to say that because of HUE's shipping restrictions only those living in the United States can enter the giveaway.

And a note to my readers who are already following– you can enter, too, of course. Just tell me how you are following and I can look you up.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Click on Stephanie's button below to follow her and get a second entry.




Thanks to Kacey at Doodle Bugs for the linky. You can scoot on back to hear from more bloggers!


See you next time!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ooo, Look What We Did with HUE

Would you like to win a HUE camera and animation kit? Well, READ ON!



I am SO happy to be linking up with fellow Michigander and blogging buddy Stephanie from over at Forever in Fifth Grade. I am linking up with her two ways today, actually. Today is her Show and Tell Linky AND we are going in together to sponsor a Giveaway! A Giveaway of a HUE Animation Studio kit! Yes!

Here's the Tell part of my post– As regular readers know, I went to the Bloggers Retreat in French Lick, Indiana. If you wonder what that was about, you can click on the picture below.


Just weeks before I went I read a blog post on the HUE HD Camera and Animation Kit. I knew it was something I wanted to try, and I was just about to put one in my cart. Then more info on the retreat came out and I saw that the HUE people were going to be donating some raffle prizes at the event. I figured I could wait a couple more weeks on the camera.

Well, I had very bad prize karma at the retreat and didn't win a darn thing, but... HUE made an offer to bloggers– they would give us a camera and animation kit AND a second camera and animation kit to give away to readers if we made an animated video and blogged about it. Yippeee. I. was. off!!

Here is the Show part of this post– Drumroll, please!





What'cha think? The most exciting seventeen seconds ever on screen, eh? The kiddos are really into worms right now, in case you couldn't tell. We did a second fancier one, too, but I'm saving that one– ha. You'll have to come back on Friday!

There were a few hurdles to leap over in the production process, but overall it was a great experience for the kiddos and me, too. I am so grateful to HUE for the camera and kit.

Would you like a camera and animation kit? Well, Stephanie and I are going to give one away! And maybe we are going to give it to YOU! So enter below. You get one try if you follow me, Kidpeople Classroom via Bloglovin' or Email. And you get one try if you follow Forever in Fifth Grade on TPT.  Enter below!

One sad thing though, the animation kit as a prize is only available to people in the US due to HUE shipping restrictions. Sorry those of you reading from abroad. sniff.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, so you saw the first video, you entered the contest, now I bet you'd like to know how we made that cute little cartoon. So here is a little bit more or a Tell.  I've broken the experience down into five parts:

                             1. Coming up with a project
                             2. Explaining the process to the students
                             3. Everybody's role
                             4. Filming
                             5. Editing and behind the scene problem solving

I am going to walk you through the process we used for making our animations on Friday... because, hey, I have five steps to go over and what better way then linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday. And besides, it is Monday night and I've got school in the morning and need a little shut eye. See you back here FRIDAY!

Hop on over to Forever in Fifth Grade by clicking below and check out what is going on. If you haven't followed her TPT store and entered for the second time, you can do that now. AND there are a bunch of other bloggers who linked up, so go see what everybody's up to in these last days of school, or for some, first days of summer.



See you FRIDAY!



Friday, May 6, 2016

Five Fresh End of Year Tips for Teachers

Hey! It's Friday. Evening. Smile. The day is over and there are very few Fridays left this school year. For me, only five and a half. I'm not quite in End of Year (EOY) mode yet, but I know many of you are, so I share what I hope will be helpful to you in your last weeks.

Pin to find some new ideas about the end of school year!

I warn you that not all of my advice is typical, but it is all tried and true by me. I link with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching and thank her for her Five for Friday way of sharing.

1.  Student Gifts  I've seen lots of EOY student gift ideas, but I don't think I've seen this one done just this way. It has been my EOY gift of choice for quite a few years now. I love giving it to my kidpeople because it takes a bit of group effort, it is all about writing which is near and dear to my heart, and parents report that their children cherish it and use it not only over the summer, but carry it around with them so long it falls apart.


I buy the journals at the dollar store for a buck apiece. I take a group shot– I happen to love this pose with the kids all heaped on top of me. Then I print this sentiment out on the top of a cardstock sheet–

Once a kidperson, Always a kidperson!
This is for holding small moments and big memories!

I cut the sheet so it fits the journal cover and glue the photo to the sheet as seen above. Then I put a green, purple, blue, red, and usually orange marker on each table.

The big sign-off goes like this: I tell the kids we are doing a special end of year activity and they will get a little present in a few days. This sets a giggly mood and everyone is ready for whatever it is... and I tell them they are going to sign their name twenty-something times. They gafaw but they're still with me. I mean, I said the word "present." I then hand out the readied sheets and ask everyone to sign their name on theirs. I tell them to watch carefully, say rotate, and at one table help them rotate the papers by just one person around the table. The rest of the tables do the same thing, with a bit of help. Then I tell everyone to sign again. They rotate, sign, rotate, sign, etc, until the five sheets have been around the table to every student.

Then BEFORE the kids switch to the next table, I check to see if the number of signatures is correct on the sheets. For the first rotation, there should be just five, for the second, ten, etc. PLAN on somebody having missed doing a sheet– I don't know how it can happen when we are being so careful, but in kindergarten it does. If you check the sheets each time before the kids change tables, you'll catch any missed signatures and can correct it right then. The kids switch tables, taking their same marker, and sign all five sheets again. This process continues until each book cover has the correct number of signatures. If anyone is absent this day, they have a lot of signatures to do when they get back!

Once each sheet has been signed by the kids, I sign them all, too. Then I laminate and cut out. I attach the sheet to the cover with a wide swath of clear packing tape across the top and the bottom making sure to cover all four corners with tape. I write each student's name inside the book, and some years, if time allows, I write a little EOY sentiment to each student, highlighting some of our best memories. Ta-da!

2.  The Magical Send-Off  On the last day of school, in the very last minutes of kindergarten when the kids are all packed and lined up, I give them the MAGICAL SEND-OFF and tell them I am going to turn all of them into FIRST GRADERS!

Aren't these cute pens? Found them at Costco in a set of twelve.
Ahead of time I purchase silly pencils or pens, enough for each student, and put them in a bucket. With bucket in hand, starting at the back of the line, I take a pen and using it as a magic wand, tap each little person on the head as I say, "Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo, a first grader now are YOU." Then I give them "a magic kiss" on the top of their head so they can't come back to kindergarten except to visit me, which they must do for the magic to work. The wand becomes theirs.

By the time I've made my way to the front of the line, doing magic with each child, tears are glistening, but each child and I got a few special seconds together. The kids are happy as they walk down the hall for the last time waving their magic pens. It is a grand way to start the summer.

After they are all off on busses or vans or feet, I come back to the classroom and ball my eyes out. Such is the job of teaching. I get over it though as I pack up, go home, and fall in a dead heap on the couch with a very happy smile on my face and the summer stretching ahead. Such is the job of teaching.

3.  Cherished Words  I involve the kiddos in packing up, too, but not until the last week, when it is okay for the room to look a bit naked. Helping pack up is truly more for them to get a sense of closure, than it is to help me– let's face it, five and six year olds are only so helpful with such a process. I let them clean the toys with wipes, put like toys together in boxes, and bag up the stuffies and book buddies.

One ritual that we do each year is taking down the Word Wall. I posted about this last year but I think it is worth posting again. In the last week I sit everybody down and with the help of my laser pointer, read the word wall one last time. We remember the poems that helped us learn particular words. We talk about the tricky words like said, was, they– why are these words so tricky, anyway? And then I tell them it is time to take the word wall down. That statement is met with a sad "Whyyyyyy?" I tell them that just like we built the word wall this year, next year's kidpeople will have to build their wall, too.



I ask if anyone would like to take some words home. Oh. my. gosh. You would think I just offered them candy, the resounding YESSSS is so loud. I take down each word and ask, who would like 'the' then 'and' then 'we,' and I make sure everyone gets some words they really want. I do it very ceremoniously, trying not to let my inner grin come out. They are joyous as they put their words in their backpack, and I am filled with joy because I teach little children who get so attached to their earliest known words. Life is good.


4.  The Last Day  The last day of school with my students always include three MUST DO activities. The magical send off, described above, happens in the last couple minutes of our last day, but there are two more must dos– the last day of school self-portrait, and the last letter to Mrs. Wright.

On the first day of school we draw ourselves and write our name as best we can. I put this up as the first writing of the year on our Writers' Wall. Our best work from each writing unit and mini-unit then goes up on the wall, all work for each student layered in their spot on the wall.



The last week of school, I take down all the work. I paste the first day portraits into the front cover of our portfolios and place the rest of the student work inside. The portfolio is simply a large piece of construction paper folded to make a folder– nothing fancy. On the last morning of school, I give out the paper to draw our Last Day of School Self Portrait. This is one of our first activities of the morning so when we go to recess I can paste the Last Day Self Portraits into the back covers. It makes a very nice packet to show off their best work throughout the year, and boy, can you see progress as you flip through. Terrific.


These are the sheets I use on the first and last days. They are very simple, as you can see, but if you would like to have them, click on the image. They are completely editable documents..

For Writers' Workshop on the last day I hand out stationery and tell the kids this. is. it. Their last chance to say to me what their kindergarten selves want me to know. They take this assignment very seriously each year. I put on our favorite writing music and they write their little hearts out. And yes, when I take them home and read them at the end of the day, I once again sob my eyes out... even DH Jonathan gets a little melancholy... when he is not cracking up at the kindergarten spelling. Those letters remain very precious to me. for. ever.

I'm betting you have lots of kindergarten letter writing stationery, but if you need some you can pick some up in my little... and I mean little... where more is free than for sale, TPT store. Click on picture below to go there.  It is one dollar.



5.  The Big Dump Okay, so this is a bit of a true confession, but I can honestly say I learned it from a colleague. You know how you pack, and haul, and stack, and shove to get your room packed up, and then you come to your desk, or some shelves, and there are just so MANY TINY THINGS like pens, and tape, and brads, and dice, and little plastic thingies that have been breeding all school year there in front of you when you weren't looking?? And which you dumped in a heap as you packed up the rest of the room??

Well, one year, my room was packed up EXCEPT for this last time consuming task of sorting and deciding what to keep, what to trash, and whether it was even worth putting the thing in a place where I might or might not ever be able to find it again. A fellow teacher (who shall remain nameless) stopped by on her way out. She took one look at me and the task at hand and asked if I still had a big empty bin? I did, in fact. She said, "Just dump all of it in there."



I looked agog. WHAT? There was no way this neatnik teacher did that herself! Did she think that I was such a slob that I should do THAT?? Granted, I had indeed somehow allowed this MESS to accumulate, but still, what kind of weird advice was she doling out.

Then she said, "That's what I do."

Again, agog. Yep, she went on, she spreads her arms out across the table and sweeps all the stuff into a big bin. Done. Gone. Out of sight. She said when she gets back in the fall it is somehow magically easier to decide what to keep and where to put it. She is able to throw away more and she knows where the things are, when she puts them away then instead of back in June. And you know what, I took her advice. I dumped it. When I got back that fall and straightened everything back into it's place, that big bin was indeed magically easier to sort through, just as she said it would be!

So if you find yourself in this particular situation and can relate at all to the feeling of just wanting to be DONE in that last hour in the building, then I suggest you, too, with my blessing,  JUST DUMP IT. It will be right where you can find it again when you get back in August!!

Thanks for stopping by. Hop on back to catch what is going on with others.


 See you next time!



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pin 3 and MORE

Hi again. I tell you when it comes to me and blogging it's either hot or cold, feast or famine, flood or draught. At the moment it's a hot feast flood– I think this is my third post in a row with more coming in the not too distant future. Today I have several things to share that are MOSTLY about my top favorite Pins for May. However, there are a couple other things ya gotta know about.

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to Zayda from Magically in First for winning my giveaway of Secrets of the Vegetable Garden. She loves teaching science and is going to use this neat shine-through book to introduce her plants unit. Her firsties are gonna love it. Way to go Zayda. Read about the book here.

Second, I am participating in another big ol' giveaway with some fellow bloggers. You can win one of two fifty dollar TPT gift certificates. Wouldn't you have a great little shopping spree with that!



Just sign up here. You can have twenty three chances!

Teacher Appreciation Week


Here's who's in the giveaway with me. Check out their blogs by clicking below.







​And NOW check out these three pins!


Okay, so I couldn't make up my mind which KooKoo I liked the most, so I'm posting three of Koo Koo Kangaroo's movement videos as my first pin. These are our newest discovered vids– they have many– and our current favorites. Do you know KooKoo? If you don't, you should.


I mean come on... grown men who sing about their fanny packs! Hilarious. The kids like them, too. Their facial expressions are great and the music is very well done with a variety of styles. These goofballs really know kids.

I don't do Go Noodle, but I do collect movement videos on my Brain Break Pinterest Board. When we need to move, I just open this board and we choose the dance of the day. Love. We don't use this collection as much as we did in the mean winter months, but sometimes you only have five minutes to move and my Pinterest board is super handy for this. Click to see these guys and more faves. You might consider following just so you can get the variety of choices immediately.




My next Pin comes from Two Writing Teachers. I guess my mind is drifting toward next year. THIS year I had a good handful of kiddos for whom writing was very difficult. Both the physical aspect of putting pen to paper, and the recording of stories. I am doing early research for next year, looking for ways to scaffold better for my challenged kids. I LOVE teaching writing and I strive to be the best I can be. Check out this article, and while there, you'll see other posts in similar veins pop up. All kindergarten teachers have low kids and these ideas are valuable in helping us reach all our kiddos.

Consider following Two Writing Teachers, too. This group of blogger authors, considerably more than two now, share cutting edge thoughts on the teaching of writing, and they are pretty good writers themselves. I always find the posts worth my while.




Hmmm.... and three should be.... 


I've been using this super simple idea for my lowest reading group. Before they come over I write the sight words we're working on on slates with Expo marker. I hand them the slate and a Q-tip to "Trace-Erase" the words as a warm up. The novelty makes it fun to practice writing their words. Just one more teaching strategy in my ever growing collection. Next year I'll do some letter writing practice with Q-tips, too, as it's needed.

And because I JUST found this and want to do it THIS week for Mother's Day, I share it here.


I think this is the cutest dang Mother's Day card I've ever seen. Tips to make the photo come out right are included on Bren's blog.

Can you believe I have today off! It is voting day and our schools are polling places. So in an effort to stay away from potential gun toting voters, our district decided a month ago to close and label today as a "snow day." I am THRILLED with the day off, even as I am not thrilled with the reason.

My To-Do List:
Get tire fixed
Work on animation project I'm doing with the kiddos
Get ready for an all day field trip on Wednesday
Write lesson plans for three days I'm out next week
Meet some new students I'll have next year
Help my daughter who's home on semester break with a painting project
Have my mom up for dinner
And...
And...

Okay, so I have a week's worth to work into one day... I can do it... I'm a superhero-teacher-type...




Thanks so much for stopping by. Go check out some more Pin love by clicking below on the blog buttons. Heaps of thanks to Lisa and Marissa for their monthly Pick 3 Pin Linky. I love to party... linky party, that is!


If you'd like to post into this linky sponsored by Pawsitively Teaching, Just Reed, and Inspired Owl's Corner, you can! Just click on their buttons below for the guidelines and buttons.

See you next time!



Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Teachereciation!

Oh, there is nothing like this day in the year. Monday is the kick off of a week of special teacher appreciation activities at our school– breakfasts, lunches, popcorn, school supplies, little notes, special displays... ah, so nice.  This was posted at my door when I got to school.

Parents made the poster for this special week.
My lizard sign hangs all year and was made by DH Jonathan.

My all time FAV though, are the kids who come in the door saying,

Happy Teachereciation, Mrs. Wright!

So. dang. cute. I have a couple littles each year who just can't manage that mouthful of words so they blend it all together. Love.

And now some love for YOU. I am linking up with some blogging buddies to give away two fifty dollar Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificates. Imagine all the fun and learning you'll be able to have in your classroom with $50 to spend at TPT! Whoot!




Here is everybody who is part of the Teacher Appreciation Giveaway.



Here is everybody's link if you want to check them out.





And here is the spot to enter to win! There are twenty three ways to win! Go for it!

Teacher Appreciation Week

I love giveaways. I have picked up several goodies over the years. Here's hoping you have good luck! And even if it's not in the cards for you this time, I hope you have a GREAT teacher appreciation week. WE know how challenging the job can be and it only helps us appreciate each other more.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to check out a few fellow bloggers from the list who I don't know yet. See you next time!






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...