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A Kindergarten Teaching Blog

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    I have a wonderful freebie to share with you on this Sunday evening… an Interactive Sight Word Reader about the season of Lent. 
    FREE Lenten emergent reader

    Like all Interactive Sight Word Readers, this six-page book is an emergent reader with simple repetitive text. Each sentence in this book is missing the word "of" as it explains several symbols of the Lenten season. To complete the book, students cut and paste letters from the included letter sheet and glue them onto each page of the booklet to spell "of".
    FREE Lenten emergent reader

    Download "Lent Reminds us of Jesus" for FREE from my TpT Store.
    FREE Lenten emergent reader… perfect for Christian Kindergarten classrooms

    My students feel so proud completing a book they can read, and I love that it gets them interacting with the text to learn their sight words.
    FREE Lenten emergent reader… perfect for Christian Kindergarten classrooms

    Fall in Love with Interactive Sight Word Readers

    Kinder-Craze fans agree: Interactive Sight Word Readers are the perfect addition to your classroom's word work routine. Over 150 Interactive Sight Word Readers are available for purchase in my TpT store for $1 each. Or save 50% when you purchase the Bundle of Books or Bundle of Books, Part 2
    Click a cover to start shopping!

    Bundle of Books… 100 emergent readers in one giant bundle!
    Bundle of Books Part 2… buy early for the best value!

    Blessings,

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    I am so excited to celebrate the first birthday of my favorite place to purchase discounted educational resources: EDUCENTS!

    To help celebrate, I created a special Interactive Sight Word reader just for the occasion. The fun twist is that this is a gift for YOU! You can download "I Will Buy a Birthday Gift" for FREE on Educents. But hurry because the celebration (and the freebie) won't last forever! 
    FREE emergent reader on Educents this week only!

    The birthday fun lasts all week long. Be sure to visit the Educents website March 31-April 7. The celebration includes freebies, giveaways, and extra discounts.
    Happy Birthday Educents

    Enjoy Extra Savings

    Every product listed on Educents is a great deal, but you can save an EXTRA 20% when you use discount code "KinderCraze20" at checkout! 
    Save an Extra 20% on Educents

    Happy Birthday Educents!


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    The countdown is on and Kindergarten Graduation is only 56 days away! My graduation celebration is always simple and sweet with a few special touches to help deliver a sense of achievement. One of my FAVORITE elements of Kindergarten Graduation are the custom sashes from Anderson's Alphabet U that I order for each child in the class. I have so much to tell you about these adorable graduation sashes AND I am giving a set away at the bottom of this post! So keep reading and get ready to win!

    GIVEAWAY! Enter to win a set of custom sashes for preschool or kindergarten graduation!
    Let me tell you more about the sashes. They are completely customizable! The sashes are available in a rainbow of colors with your choice of color text on them. Andersons allows you to specify what text you would like printed on the left and right side of each sash and you can even choose the font! 

    At my kindergarten graduation last year,  each child's sash was printed to say "2013 Kindergrad" on the left and their name on the right. The students looked ADORABLE in their matching sashes. 

    I always order navy blue sashes with white print each year for my students since those are our school colors. Andersons prints directly onto the sash fabric, which allows them to create a sash in nearly every color of the rainbow. Here are just a few colors to get you started. Need a color that's not on the list, give Andersons a call (1-877-800-4665) and they will help you out!
    In addition to solid colors, Andersons also offers graphic prints for their custom sashes. 
    I love how adorable these graphics are!

    Add an extra personal touch to your sashes … choose the font that's best for you! Andersons offers a variety of fonts for sash printing. If you would like a special font, be sure to mention it when you place your order.
    The sashes are available for purchase online at Andersons.com, but I always prefer to call the company to place my order. I am very particular about color, font, & text choices and I like the reassurance I feel from speaking with someone directly on the phone.
     Andersons customer service can be reached at 1-877-800-4665.

    In addition to custom sashes, Andersons Alphabet U offers a complete line of products for Preschool and Kindergarten graduation. 
    party supplies, caps, gowns, and more for kindergarten graduation

    Save 15% on Your Entire Order

    Need to stock up on graduation supplies? Andersons is offering a 15% discount for all Kinder-Craze fans. Fill your cart and use priority code 394783 at checkout to save 15% on your ENTIRE order. Now  thru April 30, 2014.
    Save 15% on caps, gowns, and everything else for preschool or kindergarten graduation

    Enter to Win a Set of Custom Graduation Sashes

    Want to win a set of custom graduation sashes for your class? Andersons Early Childhood is generously giving away a set of 15 custom sashes to one lucky Kinder-Craze fan!
    GIVEAWAY! Enter to win a set of custom sashes for preschool or kindergarten graduation!

    Use the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    What color (or printed design) would you choose for your custom graduation sashes?

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    Ever since I unveiled my kindergarten classroom last fall, I have received weekly questions about so many elements of my classroom decor. As popular questions arise, I have been dedicating several blog posts to answering your most frequently-asked questions. Today I am thrilled to finally answer all of your questions about my classroom rules.

    ADORABLE classroom rules

    As you can see, my classroom rules can be found in the front of the room, low the ground (at my students eye level when they join me on the carpet) in brightly colored frames. 

    All of this was intentional and not a single detail was a coincidence.  I LOVE that the rules are posted in the front of the room and are visually accessible to the class. 
    I love this beautiful kindergarten classroom

    We reference the rules ALL DAY LONG.
     If some one interrupts while I am giving directions, I remind them of Rule Number 1: Listen when someone is talking.

    If someone is running in the classroom, Rule Number 5: Work and play safely and quietly.

    Sometimes I ask a child who is struggling with a particular rule to go look at it and read it to me. The rules keep my classroom running smoothly and it is only fitting that they are so prominently displayed in our learning environment.

    Classroom Rule Subway Art

    I take great pride in my classroom decor and I wanted the rules to be a natural fit in the environment so I designed my classroom rules to look like subway art. You can purchase Classroom Rules Subway Art in my TpT store. This is one of my Black Series products that features bright colors on a black background to make a bold statement. 

    Classroom Rules Subway Art

    Bold and Bright Frames for Classroom Rules

    People are ALWAYS asking about the brightly colored frames that contain my classroom rules. I purchased the frames at Michaels this summer (I'll fill you in on all the details of the frames in a minute) and spray painted each one in a different bright solid color. In a recent blog post about my spray painted file cabinets, I mentioned the importance of priming a surface before painting. The frames I purchased were raw wood and the needed a coat of primer before beginning. You can purchase spray primer, but I had a few quarts of traditional primer nearby from various classroom improvement projects this summer. I used an inexpensive foam brush to paint a light coat of primer onto each frame picture frame. 

    tips for getting the cutest framed classroom rules

    To find the best colors for my classroom project, I shopped around at several stores and used a few different brands of spray paint. I wanted my frames to have a glossy finish in a color that really popped. People ask me all the time what colors I used to paint my frames. Ultimately, I decided on these 5 colors: 

    Krylon ColorMaster in Citrus Green (available at Michaels)
    Krylon ColorMaster in Sea Glass (available at Michaels)
    Krylon Indoor Outdoor in Bauhaus Gold (available at Michaels)
    Rustoleum Painters Touch in Berry Pink (available at Home Depot)
    Rustoleum Painters Touch in Sea Side (available at Home Depot)
    this kindergarten teacher with an adorable classroom shares all her favorite colors of spray paint

    LOVE these spray paint colors

    Finding the Perfect Picture Frames

    By now, only one question remains unanswered: 
    Where did I get those fabulous wood frames for my classroom rules? 

    I purchased the frames on clearance at Michaels last summer. Actually, my amazing friend Melanie from Schoolgirl Style picked up a few for me to use in my classroom and I desperately searched every Michaels store in the area until I found more. Since the frames were on clearance, they were super-cheap (I only paid about $3.50 for each one). They are ArtMinds brand, unfinished wood and instead of glass, they just had a floppy piece of plastic to hold the photo in place. Like most picture frames, they had a back stand and brackets for mounting on the wall.  
    adorable classroom rules!

    Unfortunately, I have not seen another frame exactly like these in a Michaels store since I stocked up last summer.  They have recently begun to carry similar frames that are also ArtMinds brand unfinished wood with the cute scallops, but they not the same. The new frames have no backing at all and no hardware for hanging on the wall. They also cost more than the bargain frames I scored last summer.   This makes me so sad! I am hoping they will restock the same original frames this summer. 
    unfinished wood frames

    Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive is also a teacher in a Catholic school. She let me know about the new frames that are in-stock at Michaels and Cori found a creative way to make the frames work for her. Stop by her post and see what she did

    Black "Classroom Rules" Sign

    The black sign that says "Classroom Rules" beside the picture frames is a sheet of black chalkboard vinyl. I purchased a set of 3 scalloped sheets at Target last summer. My friend Meggan has the cutest printing ever and she was sweet enough to write the words "classroom rules" on the vinyl. I sprayed it with hair spray to help keep the chalk in place and it worked! This sign hasn't smudged at all this year. 
    framed classroom rules look like a work of art


    Read More About My Classroom

    Want to know more about my kindergarten classroom?  
    Read about my spray painted file cabinets with lots of tips and a video on the best way to spray paint. 
    beautiful kindergarten classroom

    Take a tour of my room and see views of the entire classroom
    beautiful kindergarten classroom


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    Hello friends. Just in case you haven't noticed, things are changing with Facebook.
    BIG things that could greatly affect the content displayed in your News Feed each day.


    Facebook is dramatically reducing the amount of content that is displayed in your News Feed. Recent information from Facebook reveals that only about 6% of my fans are seeing content and this is likely to dwindle down to 1%.

    ONE PERCENT! 

    That means that you could easily be one of the 99% of people that will not see content from me in the future! No more giveaway updates, no more blog post links, no more funny messages. NO MORE FREEBIES. You could miss out on all of the fun.


    Fortunately, there are a few remedies to this problem.
    All of which are simple and just require a few clicks of the mouse.

    Are you ready? 


    Continue Receiving Facebook Updates

    If you love Facebook as much as I do, there is hope! Just stop by my Facebook page. Look for the box that indicates you "Liked" the page and click on the little arrow on the right side of the box. A sub-menu will display. Click to place a checkmark next to the words "Get Notifications". This lets Facebook know that you like receiving information from my page and it will help to ensure that all messages continue to appear in your News Feed.
    Don't miss any news from Kinder-Craze! Make sure you are getting Facebook notifications

    Unfortunately, Facebook is always trying to cut back the number of notifications that you receive from me. Another way to ensure that all updates land in your news feed is to LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT on Facebook posts from me as often as possible. 

    If I share something funny, pass it along to your friends. 
    If you like a freebie I have shared, take a second to "like" the link. 
    And of course, comments are always welcome! 
    LIKE and COMMENT on Facebook content often

    Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

    Want to REALLY stay in-the-know? 
    You can find Kinder-Craze on all of your favorite social media sites! 

    Instagram

    Have you found me on Instagram yet? I often post photos of my life behind-the-scenes, first peeks at new projects, and of course glimpses of new blog posts. 
    Make sure you follow Kinder-Craze on Instagram if you want to know it ALL.

    follow Kinder-Craze on Instagram

    Pinterest

    I absolutely ADORE Pinterest for all of the wonderful creativity and artistry it provides. From classroom decor ideas, to seasonal crafts, even ideas for when I finally get my dream home. 
    You'll find daily glimpses into what inspires me if you follow me on Pinterest

    follow Kinder-Craze on Pinterest

    Twitter

    It happened. I am finally embracing Twitter for all it has to offer. If you're scared or intimidated by Twitter, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Come follow me and we can both take deep breaths while we try to navigate a whole new form of social media. Or, if you've been one of the social media "cool kids" on Twitter all along, let's follow each other and maybe you can teach me a thing or two along the way! 
    follow Kinder-Craze on Twitter


    On a final note, thank you so much for caring enough about Kinder-Craze and the content I share to read all the way to the bottom of this post and follow me on various social media. It warms my heart every time I read your outpouring of love, support, and enthusiasm for what I do. All of you help me to wake up with a smile on my face each morning (and drive me to stay up far too late some nights!)

    I cannot thank you enough.


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    As we near the final days of Lent and the most solemn days of Holy Week, I have a very special Interactive Sight Word Reader to share with you as a freebie. My newest reader, "Jesus had a Holy Week" provides an overview of the important events and days of Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. 


    Although, the word "Jesus" doesn't appear on the Dolch or any other traditional sight word list,  it IS a high-frequency work in my Catholic kindergarten classroom. My students read the word "Jesus" several times a week in our daily religion instruction. This year, my classroom activities during Holy Week will help my students read and write the word "Jesus" independently while they learn about the events in Jesus' life which led up to Easter Sunday.
     

    Just like all of the Interactive Sight Word Readers in my TpT store, students cut out and unscramble letters to spell a particular word (in this case "Jesus" - included in the packet) then glue the letters in the correct order on each page of the booklet. The pages of this emergent reader are filled with simple, repetitive text and age-appropriate graphics for students to color that depict the major events of Holy Week. Once the book is complete, it is the perfect addition to a child's book box or daily reading homework.

    Download Jesus Had a Holy Week from my TpT store for FREE. 

    While you are there, be sure to follow my store and browse my assortment of other religion resources, all of which are freebies. 

     Wishing you a blessed Holy Week and Easter, 


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    In honor of Earth Day, I am stepping out of my classroom to share today's Bright Idea. I didn't travel very far, just down the hall and around the corner to my school's recycle center. Does your school recycle? This year I took on the task of revamping my school's recycle center; transforming it from a mismatched heap of waste bins into a clean, streamlined area that actually enhances the visual appeal of our school hallway. 
    tips for creating a school-wide recycle center

    Today's blog post is part of the April Bright Ideas link up. Educational bloggers from across the country are uniting to share our best classroom ideas with you. You'll find a complete list of links at the bottom of this post so you can hop along and stock up on more great ideas. 
    bright ideas link up

    I know you have lots of reading to do, so let's dive right in to today's Bright Idea: Creating a School Recycle Center that's organized, attractive, and practical! I also have some of ideas for how to help your school raise money while you recycle!
    tips for creating a school-wide recycle center

    As you can see, my school's recycle center is located in a section of lockers. This was a BIG change. 

    The Old Recycle Center

    Previously, our recycle center consisted of 12 gallon buckets. Some were white, others were blue. A stand was built to hold the buckets and 8.5x11" signs were taped above each bucket for labeling purposes. We also had a huge gray bin shaped like a bottle that was intended to hold empty bottles and several large rubbermaid totes for recycling paper. All lined up in the hall and overflowing with recyclables (with an assortment of trash mixed in.) Oh, it was classy. 

    Here is a photo of our former recycle center in it's early stages. No heaps of stuff yet, no overflowing rubbermaid totes, and no giant plastic bottle, but this gives you an idea of what we were dealing with. Just imagine this multiplied by five. I'm sure you can imagine my horror. 
    BEFORE photo of a school recycle center… you should see the AFTER!

    Using Lockers as a School Recycle Center

    As an upgrade, a set of unused lockers was designated to become the new home of the St. Mary School recycle center. Each locker contains a different type of material to recycle (batteries, plastics, ink cartridges, etc.) I created signs for each locker to help the school community easily sort discarded items. The design of each sign is clean and simple with uniform fonts and colors. Plus our school crest. Because I love our crest. 
    use lockers to store and organize a school recycle center

    A friend of mine is able to print banners at work. She created a banner for the recycle center that encourages all members of the school community to "Keep St. Mary Green." 
    (We are a certified Green School in the state of Michigan)
    tips for creating a school-wide recycle center\

    The Interior of Each Locker

    The inside of each locker is just as clean and simple as the exterior. A school family has a connection to a local packaging company. We measured the interior of the lockers and had custom boxes created from corrugated plastic (in navy blue and white to coordinate with our school colors.) This completes the visual appeal of the entire Recycle Center, from the inside out. 
    use lockers to store and organize your school recycle center - GENIUS!


    What to Recycle (and how to earn some extra cash)

    Whether you're just getting started with recycling at school or looking to expand your existing recycle center, there are several organizations that can help you get going and (even earn some extra cash for your school!)

    Plastic and Cardboard

    For plastic and cardboard, check with your school's local waste distributor. See if they offer curbside recycling for your institution or check to see if there is a drop-off location where you can bring recyclables. 

    Unfortunately, our school's waste management company does not offer a pickup service for recyclable materials. Nor is there a drop-off facility for recyclables in the city. I know. It makes me mad too. In the past we have enlisted the assistance of parents to pick up our plastic milk jugs from the cafeteria to take these items home to their own curbside recycle service. The maintenance crew also helps us by taking our plastic waste to a local facility. 

    Paper

    abitibi dumpsterSchools produce a LOT of paper waste and this is a great opportunity to monetize all of that discarded paper. My school works with Abitibi Paper Retriever to collect community paper waste in a special dumpster. When the dumpster is filled with paper, Abitibi empties it and we earn money! Abitibi services several cities in the US. Check the map below and visit their website to see if your school is eligible to work with the company.
    abitibi paper retriever map

    Crayola Marker ColorCycle

    Elementary schools use a lot of supplies. Why not recycle them? Crayola now offers a ColorCycle program that encourages schools to save discarded markers and ship them to Crayola. The markers are then recycled into energy for fuel. 
    recycle Crayola markers and Crayola will turn it into ENERGY
    This quick video shows how the process works and is a great resource to share with your students during ecological lessons and activities. 


    Crayons

    You probably noticed that we save crayons in a locker as well. I would love nothing more than to tell you that Crayola has discovered an effective way to recycle crayons. Unfortunately, that is not the case, but we save our crayons anyway and put them to good use. We drop our crayons off at a local industrial scrap recycling center called Arts & Scraps. My school is located in Macomb County, Michigan. If you are from the same area, it is a great facility to look into. They LOVE getting crayons from us. Most cities have similar industrial recycling programs that are worth looking into. 

    I also discovered a national crayon program called Crazy Crayons that accepts shipments of crayons for recycling. No prep is required, but the prefer to receive shipments of crayons with the wrappers on that are sorted by color. You just need to pay the shipping costs for sending the crayons.


    Glue Sticks and Glue Bottles

    The students at my school go through a LOT of glue sticks. ESPECIALLY in kindergarten. As part of the Elmers Glue Crew, we save all discarded Elmers glue stick and glue bottles. These are shipped toTerracycle at the end of the school year and we receive one cent for each glue bottle or glue stick that is returned. It helps save the environment and it provides a little extra income for something that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

    Earn money for your school by recycling Elmers glue sticks and glue bottles

    Turn Waste into Revenue with Terracycle

    The Elmer's Glue Crew is just one of Terracycle's many recycling brigades. Schools are invited to sign up for multiple brigades through Terracycle. There are a variety of popular brigades which recycle everything from cell phones, to binders, to Colgate toothpaste containers, to Solo cups, and more! Many of these offer a cash donation for shipments. Check out Terracycle's website to see which brigades have open slots. 


    tips for creating a school-wide recycle center

    This Earth Day, help your school make a difference in the world. Go green and establish a school recycle center (or broaden your recycling efforts by joining a Terracycle brigade to earn some extra cash for your school).


    Are you a new Kinder-Craze fan? Don't miss out on any of the fun! Join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

    For more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, check out any of the great posts below! So many great ideas, all in one place!



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    Integrate a little fine art into your Earth Day lesson plans with a simple (and sweet) watercolor painting. I completed this activity with my own kindergarten students last week and it was a huge hit. This blog post breaks the entire process down into small, easy steps that will give all students a feeling of success!
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    I love, love, LOVE the simplicity of this project! 

    All that you need is a piece of white cardstock, water color paints, a pencil, black crayon and a hearty-shaped template. (I created mine from an old file folder.)
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    Have students place the heart template in the center of the cardstock and trace around it with a pencil. 
    Earth Day watercolor painting project with EASY step-by-step directions

    Use the pencil to add a few "blobs" to the heart and create the appearance of land. 
    Earth Day watercolor painting project with EASY step-by-step directions

    Then, add lines that extend from the heart to the edges of the pages. This will give the appearance that the heart-shaped earth is shining.
    Earth Day watercolor painting project with EASY step-by-step directions

    That's is all of the drawing that's required!
    The next step is simple but oh-so-important to help prevent the paint colors from running together. Use a black crayon to trace on top of each pencil line. Encourage students to add a little extra pressure and make nice dark lines with the black crayon.
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    Once all of the pencil lines have been traced with black crayon, your students will be ready to paint!
    Earth Day watercolor painting project with EASY step-by-step directions

    In my kindergarten class, I gave step-by-step painting directions so the students would be mindful of using the proper colors. Each student began by painting the land "blobs" green.
    Earth Day watercolor painting project with EASY step-by-step directions

    Then, they used blue paint to add the oceans to their heart shaped earth.
    Earth Day watercolor painting project with EASY step-by-step directions
    Finally, the rays of light around the earth were painted with red, orange, yellow, and purple. 
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    The completed project is stunning. 
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    Now that you have seen the tutorial, let me share a few photos from when I did this activity in my own classroom. We completed this painting during VIP day so each of my children had an adult by their side for the project. Having an extra set of hands is not necessary, however. I would gladly do this same project even on a day without any classroom volunteers. As long as you provide step-by-step directions and only give one or two instructions at a time, kindergarten students can have success completing this project independently. 

    Here you can see students carefully tracing their pencil marks with a black crayon. 
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    Then it was time to paint! Notice that the students used green watercolors to paint the land first, then added blue oceans to the picture.
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    It's important to tell students how to use watercolors successfully. They don't intuitively know how much water to use. I always give plenty of reminders to keep the paints wet, but not soaking wet. I remind the class that if they want dark colors, the paints should only have a little bit of water in them. The lesson is worthwhile because every single painting that my students created was just as vibrant as this one! 
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    I mounted the completed paintings on black construction paper. 
    Isn't this just gorgeous?!?
    EASY step-by-step directions to make this Earth Day watercolor painting

    More Ideas for Earth Day

    Need a few more ideas for classroom Earth Day projects? Use handprints from the entire class to make a giant painting of the earth. Or create a pretty "stained glass" window decoration of the Earth with tissue paper. Click on a photo for more information! 
    giant handprint painting of the Earth
    Earth Day window decoration

    Interactive Sight Word Readers for Earth Day

    Integrate literacy into your Earth Day lessons with the Interactive Sight Word Reader "We Can Take Care of OUR World." Students will work to spell the sight word "our" while reading about many items that we can recycle to care for the Earth. 
    Perfect emergent reader for Earth Day!

    Get Your School Involved

    Teach your students an authentic lesson in ecology… create a school-wide recycle center! Many standard classroom supplies (such as glue sticks, crayons and markers) can be recycled! Read all about my school's Recycle Center and discover resources to establish one at your school too!

    tips and resources to create a Recycle Center at your school

    What are your classroom plans for Earth Day?


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    We have been learning how to skip count in my Kindergarten classroom for the past 2 weeks and the students have had a BLAST!  You know how much I love adding a fun twist to any traditional instruction, so we even made a few trips outside to practice skip counting in a kinesthetic way… with Skip Count Hopscotch! 
    skip counting hopscotch

    I have more information about the hopscotch to share with you further down in the post, but before my students could hop, they needed to gain an understanding of skip counting and visualize the process for how it works. So let's start with the basics

    Skip Count Anchor Charts

    I began my skip counting unit by adding a few colorful charts to my classroom calendar area. One chart was added for each skip counting set: counting by 10s, 5s, and 2s. 
    Teacher anchor charts for skip counting

    Learning to Skip Count

    Even before the fancy charts were added to the classroom, my students were gaining confidence in counting by 10s and 5s. We started counting by 10s as we prepared for our 100th day of school and we use tallies each day to mark the date on our classroom calendar. 

    Once the children started to gain confidence in counting orally by 10s, we started with our first Rainbow Skip Count page. The class and I worked together to fill in the missing count by 10 numbers on a 100 chart, using the big classroom chart as a reference. I modeled this process in our calendar area, and each child gathered on the floor around me to complete the page with me. 
    skip count practice pages

    As a finishing touch, students use a personal skip counting chart to trace their skip count numbers with markers or crayons to make it a rainbow counting page. In addition to the class anchor chart, each student was given a smaller 8.5x11 laminated student chart that showed the rainbow colors as a guide. 
    Rainbow Skip Counting anchor charts, student chards and practice pages

    Here you can see a child proudly displaying her rainbow numbers in front of our class skip counting charts. 
    rainbow skip count practice pages

    The next day we were ready to skip count by 5s. My students have certainly had less practice skip counting by 5s so this activity was more of a challenge for them. 
    rainbow skip count practice pages

    Differentiated Skip Counting Activities 

    The great thing about my Rainbow Skip Counting pack is that it is DIFFERENTIATED. Students that have already figured out the pattern for skip counting by 5s can complete a skip count by 5s pack with lots of blank spaces. Students that are still working to gain the skill can begin by tracing numbers on the chart that are gray instead of blank. It's a great way to provide a little extra support for those who need it. 

    DIFFERENTIATED Skip Counting Practice
    DIFFERENTIATED Skip Counting Practice


     DIFFERENTIATED Skip Counting Practice

    Once several students have mastered skip counting by 5s, we were ready to move onto skip counting by 2s! This skill is a particularly big one to master, so I break it into a few parts. The entire class started with a simple skip counting page that only went up to 40. This was a good first step. Several student writing pages for skip counting by twos are available in the pack to differentiate for the various needs of your students. 
    Rainbow Skip Count pages

    After any page from the pack is complete, I ask students to read their numbers and skip count for me. If students are able to skip count quickly, fluently, and easily, I know they are ready for a more challenging activity. For students who were quick to skip count by twos up to 40, it was time for a BIG challenge: going all the way up to 100!

    Rainbow Skip Count pages

    The rainbow design of the skip counting charts is a valuable tool for helping students keep track of the rows on the chart, but it is ESPECIALLY valuable for the skip count by 2s chart. There are SO many numbers and it is very easy for students to become lost or overwhelmed while they work. The rainbow rows remind students that they are on the orange row, or the blue row, or the dark green row and helps them to remain on task in the correct row with minimal confusion. 

    Rainbow Skip Count pages

    Skip counting by 2s up to 100 is quite an accomplishment!
    Differentiated Rainbow Skip Count Practice

    Differentiated Rainbow Skip Counting is available in my TpT store for $4. It has everything you need to help your students rainbow their way into skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s: teacher charts, student charts, and student practice pages. 

    Differentiated Rainbow Skip Count Practice

    Skip Count Hopscotch

    Paper and pencil activities can be very valuable (especially when I let my students use markers) but I wanted to add a kinesthetic element to our skip counting unit. One day while were were outside for playtime, I brought some sidewalk chalk outside and set about the task of quickly drawing a hopscotch board that would count by 5s. I had a few girls that were VERY curious and eager to help. All I had to do was draw a quick outline and add the numbers to the spaces. My little helpers happily grabbed some chalk of their own and traced all of my numbers and lines to make them more bold. The entire board took less than 15 minutes to complete. Then the REAL fun began! 
    skip counting hopscotch

    To help my students HEAR the number patterns and gain fluency while they skip counted, I made sure each child recited the numbers allowed while they hopped. 
    skip counting hopscotch
    You can purchase a 48 pack of Crayola brand sidewalk chalk on Amazon for less than $8!

    This was a great follow-up to the Hop by 10s hopscotch I created an an indoor option for our 100th day of school. 
    skip counting hopscotch

    You can read all about how I created the indoor hopscotch board and download FREE number printables to create your own Hop by 10s board. 
    make your own indoor hopscotch

    Do you have a great tip or activity for skip counting in the classroom? 
    Please leave a comment telling me what you do… I would love to hear your ideas! 

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    My fourth shipment from Stitch Fix arrived this week and it was a box full of eye candy! I am so, so, so excited to share my latest fix with you. Are you ready? Let me take you on a visual tour of my fix!
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service

    How Stitch Fix Works

    Just in case you haven't heard of the amazing-ness that is Stitch Fix yet, let me be the first to tell you ALL about it! Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service. To get started, go to StitchFix.com create an account (it's free to join) and complete a style profile. This is a brief survey of your sizes, personal style, and price limits. The entire process takes about 10 minutes and you even have a chance to tell your stylist about any areas of your body that you like to flaunt (or hide!)

    Once your style profile is complete, you can make arrangements to schedule your first fix. For a $20 styling fee, you will be sent a box with 5 items inside. (Shipping is free.) You can try on all of the items in the comfort of your home and with the convenience of your closet nearby. Pair each item with pants, shoes, and accessories that you already own. It's like playing dress up. Seriously, it is SO much fun. 

    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service

    Keep any items you want and return the rest within three days. A pre-addressed shipping bag is included with your fix. Returns are free too! Your $20 styling fee is deducted front the cost of any items you keep. (So even if you keep just one thing, you get a $20 discount on that item). 

    Ok, that's enough information about the service. Let's get to my fix! 

    Stitch Fix #4 - Whats in the Box

    Opening the box revealed an envelop declaring that my stylist thought I would love the pieces in my fix.

    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service

    The inside of the box reminds me of the process, as well as a reminder that I should try on each piece (even if it doesn't seem like I will like it at all.)
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service

    I couldn't wait another moment. I had to tear open the seal and see the clothes inside! 
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service

    Oh. My. Word. 
    The colors. The beautiful colors. 
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service

    I'm going to stop talking typing for a minute and let you take it all in. 
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service
    check out Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service

    I told you these clothes were some serious eye candy!
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix

    In my previous Stitch Fix blog posts, I only showed photos of the clothes that I felt comfortable in. And, of course, people would comment at the end of EVERY post that they wished they could see me wearing the items that I wasn't so comfortable showing off. This time I decided to share photos of myself wearing every single garment included in my fix. 

    Playing Dress Up

    First up was the Mada Chevron Sleeveless Dress. I loved how bold and graphic the print was. I did not love how washed out I looked with my pale skin. I had to pair it with black tights to add some contrast and since summer will be here soon I knew I would not be rocking out black tights very often in the coming months. The dress was also too baggy on top. This one was destined to be returned. 
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix

    My next item was the Julia Utility Jacket. I adored the bright kelly green and the navy blue polka dot detail on the inner seams (look at my rolled up sleeves). Unfortunately, this jacket was a little too big in the shoulders and collar. It felt too bulky on me and looked like I was wearing my mom's jacket. I had to wear a scarf to sort of "fill" the extra space. Sadly, this piece was also returned. 
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix

    My third item was the beautiful pair of Zoe Open Shape Metal Earrings. LOVE! The nice thing about earring is that they always fit! This pair was definitely a keeper. 
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix

    I tried on the Sophia Skinny Jeans from Kenzie with the purple Natasha Front Pocket Sleeveless Blouse. Just like the green jacket, I adored the color of this blouse, but it was a little too big on top. I don't generally wear v-neck tops and the arm holes were a little too big as well. It looked great paired with a lightweight dark purple cardigan, but I would feel very uncomfortable 
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix

    And there you have it! Another fabulous fix from Carmen, my stylist.
    Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that ships 5 hand-picked clothing pieces each month. Check out what this blogger got in her fix

    Here is the breakdown of each garment, price, and what I decided to keep. 
    Mada Chevron Sleeveless Dress, $68, return
    Julia Utility Jacket, $78, return
    Zoe Open Shape Metal Earrings, $32, keep
    Natasha Front Pocket Sleeveless Blouse, $54, return
    Sophia Skinny Jeans, $88, keep

    Stitch Fix Giveaway

    Now that you know a little more about Stitch Fix, are you ready to try it for yourself? I'm giving away a $20 Stitch Fix gift card. This will cover your first styling fee so you can try the service risk-free! You won't have to pay for shipping and you'll just be billed for the items you wish to keep. 

    Enter to win a $20 Stitch Fix gift card

    Use the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    More Chances to Win

    My good friends from Sharing Kindergarten and A Differentiated Kindergarten are also giving away Stitch Fix gift cards this week. Stop by their blogs for more chances to win! 

    Differentiated Kindergarten blog
    Sharing Kindergarten blog

    Stitch Fix Link Up

    Calling all bloggers! Are you obsessed with Stitch Fix? Link up a blog post of your latest fix. We would LOVE to see what your stylist selected. Please be sure to include the button for the link-up in your blog post and post a link back to this post. 
    Stitch Fix link up



    An InLinkz Link-up

    Give Stitch Fix a Try

    Do you want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? Sign up for your first fix using my referral link (included throughout this post) and I receive a credit toward future fixes. 

    You can also read more about my previous Fixes

    Stitch Fix

    I am already SO excited for May 14!
    Do you use Stitch Fix? Are you new to the service and still curious about it?
    Please leave a comment to let me know your thoughts! 


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    I am so excited to share some wonderful news with all of my fans today! I have teamed up once again with my amazing friend Melanie from Schoolgirl Style to bring you a VERY special giveaway! Melanie has been debuting her entire new line of classroom decor themes for the past week (with even more new themes coming out in the next several days.) 

    Today Melanie is taking a moment to hit "pause" on the new classroom reveals and reflect back on her Rainbow Chalkboard theme. She is also doing a HUGE giveaway with this theme. Keep reading and I will tell you more about the giveaway later in this post :)
    Rainbow Chalkboard classroom theme from Schoolgirl Style

    I adore every single one of Melanie's classroom themes and I am LOVING the surprises of her 2014 Back to School Reveal. But the Rainbow Chalkboard collection holds a very special place in my heart because it is the collection I use in my own classroom

    Melanie and I teamed up last summer (we only live an hour apart and we are great friends) to design my classroom after my entire school moved into a new building. It was so much work, but so worth it! Especially because I was given the first peek at this new design. Melanie intended to wait until now to reveal the Rainbow Chalkboard theme but she chose to release it seven months early because she knew it would be absolutely perfect in my classroom and it fit my style to a "T" -  I told you we were good friends! 

    I absolutely adore this collection.
    Rainbow Chalkboard classroom theme from Schoolgirl Style
    Rainbow Chalkboard classroom theme from Schoolgirl Style
    Rainbow Chalkboard classroom theme from Schoolgirl Style
    Rainbow Chalkboard classroom theme from Schoolgirl Style

    Melanie and I decided to pair her Rainbow Chalkboard collection with lime green, teal, and pink accents throughout my classroom. I love every single detail. 
    bright kindergarten classroom
    cute kindergarten classroom
    kindergarten classroom decorations
    kindergarten classroom decorations

    The silhouettes of children playing are my absolute favorite part of the classroom. Images for the silhouettes are included in the SchoolgirlStyle shop. I recently dedicated an entire blog post to answering questions about the silhouettes in my classroom and my bright yellow file cabinets. 
    kindergarten classroom decorations
    beautiful kindergarten classroom
    kindergarten classroom library
    beautiful kindergarten classroom

    The Giveaway

    How would you like to win the Rainbow Chalkboard collection for your own classroom? Melanie is generously sponsoring a HUGE giveaway for one lucky fan! You could win the complete printable Rainbow Collection, Pacon fadeless paper, 2 rolls of Bordette from Pacon and 6 poms, lanterns or daisies (your choice) from Schoolgirl Style. How AMAZING is that?  Use the Rafllecopter below for your chance to win! 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Melanie will continue to roll-out her new classroom designs all week long, so be sure to check out her blog every day for a new giveaway and more gorgeous photos! It's all part of her 2014 Back to School Reveal.

    2014 Back to School reveal from Schoolgirl Style


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    Earlier this week, I shared some very BIG news with my small students. The man I love asked me to be his wife and I said "yes." As we were driving home from a whirlwind weekend in Chicago, I turned to my fiancée Rob and wondered aloud "how will I tell my students?"

    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    By this time, I written a long list of best friends and close family members that I needed to inform in a special way. But I spend more time in the classroom with my kindergarten students than I do with anyone else. And teaching fills my heart with joy.
    How on Earth WOULD I tell my students?!?

    And suddenly, I knew. 

    Lilly. 

    Before Spring Break, I introduced my students to the literary genius of Kevin Henkes and his beloved character, Lilly. We all LOVE Lilly and she is (hands-down) my all-time favorite children's book character. Such a silly, sassy mouse.

    What better way to announce my engagement to my kindergarten students, than by including Lilly in the conversation!


    As soon as I had time, I made a quick trip to the local public library and picked up a copy of Lilly's Big Day.  If you're not already familiar with the story, I'll give you a quick synopsis: 
    As soon as the young and exuberant Lilly finds out that her teacher, Mr. Slinger, is getting married; she immediately begins preparations to be his flower girl. It's the cutest, sweetest, funniest obsession you will ever read about. As you would expect. Lilly is not chosen to be the flower girl in her teacher's wedding, but Lilly saves the day in a very sweet way at the end of the story. 

    Lilly's Big Day - cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    Armed with a ring on my finger, and a book in my hand; I was ready to share the news of my own Big Day with the class.

    When I first sat down, I held the book in front of my students. They were instantly delighted to see their old friend, Lilly, on the cover. I explained that I had some news to share with them and that I selected the book especially for the occasion. And then I began to read…

    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    Halfway through the very first page of the book, one of the girls in my classroom shouted out, "YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED!" I asked her how she knew, but I already knew the answer to that question. As soon as that little kindergarten girl heard the words "teacher" and "married", she immediately put all of the pieces together. 

    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    I smiled and told the class that yes, I am getting married. They smiled and laughed and cheered a little and then I continued reading the story. 

    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    But I had to stop a lot to answer all of their questions. 

    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students
    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    At one point, one very excited student made a huge (although slightly inaccurate) realization and could not contain her self. She blurted out "When you get married, you'll be MRS. Manore just like your mom!" 

    sharing a teacher's engagement news with kindergarten students

    I laughed and explained that's not quite how it works. I would become a "Mrs" but my name would change. As you would expect, this was immediately followed but the inevitable question: "What WILL your name be?" 

    I laughed because I was just WAITING for someone to ask this question. 

    Once I am married, I will become Mrs. Gavin. This is just fine and a perfectly ordinary name. Except for one thing. One of the students in my class is named Gavin. He's silly and funny and provides entertainment for his classmates all day long. I knew that the class was going to think it was absolutely HYSTERICAL to hear that I would (kind of) share a name with this student. 

    We all had a good laugh. Except poor Gavin. He was a little confused and declared: 
    "But I'M not going to marry you!"

    The confusion continued later that evening when one of the girls in my class told her parents that I was going to marry Gavin's dad.

    Goodness, I love all of these kids. 

    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    What a whirlwind of a week it has been! I will forever treasure the memory of Rob getting down on one knee as we strolled through Grant Park. I will also remember (and laugh) for many years to come about the day I told my kindergarten class of my Big Day. 

    I am truly blessed. 

    cute idea for sharing news of a teacher's engagement with young students

    Ever since I announced my engagement on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter; I have been showered with congratulations and well-wishes from my fans. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has reached out in support and celebration. 

    My cup runneth over.


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    The library and reading area is an essential part of any classroom. Especially in kindergarten and the younger grades. This is the time when a love for words, books, and reading is sparked in children. I use many elements of the Daily 5 in my kindergarten classroom and it is important that my students feel comfortable using the classroom library when they select materials to add to their book boxes. 

    Teachers are busy people and, like you, I do not have a lot of time to spare for cleaning and maintaining my library's resources. So I set about the task of creating an organized, functional space with bright colors and clear labels that is fun and accessible to all students (and myself!)
    this blog post has SO many tips to organize your classroom library

    Today I invite you on a tour of my classroom library! I will show you how I organize my books, share links for purchasing materials and furniture that I used when I set up my library and even tell you about my Classroom Library Labels. I have so much to share so let's jump right in! 

    Creating a Cohesive Classroom Library

    Most teachers have a system in place for organizing their classroom library. Like so many others, my own library contains bins for a variety of reading levels, as well as bins for a variety of seasons, holidays, and themes. 

    While most teachers are organized, the pitfall of most libraries is a lack of cohesion. Nothing can visually derail a functional library like a mismatched set of bins in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. My own library contains several kinds of containers (in a few different colors and sizes), but it's the careful and deliberate placement of each item in the library that makes it stand out and create a jaw-dropping effect. 

    Notice that each row of shelves contains the same type of box across each shelf. It created a lot of clean lines to draw in they eye and eliminate clutter. 
    BEAUTIFUL CLASSROOM LIBRARY! this blog post has SO many tips for library organization

    The longest shelf in my library contains larger baskets to hold books. There were a few categories of books in which I had an ABUNDANCE of reading materials. They simply could not fit into one of the tall skinny boxes. I added the larger baskets but made sure to use the same color scheme that already existed on the bottom shelf to reduce any unnecessary visual distractions. 

    Student book boxes are on the top shelf. These are all the same color (green) to add an element of simplicity. Student book bins were purchased at Really Good Stuff. Sets of 12 bins can be purchased in a single color from their online store. 

    this blog post has SO many tips to organize your classroom library

    I turned all of my bins from Really Good Stuff backwards on the shelf.  This helped to maximize the pop of color and minimize book clutter. 
    this blog post has SO many tips for classroom library organization

    I also laminated and used hot glue to attach labels onto each box. 
    All labels are from my Classroom Library Labels {Black Series} set.

    Classroom Library Labels

    Here is a view of the complete classroom library. It always looks this nice and well-organized because I  spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year training my students on the proper use and maintenance of our favorite classroom space. 
    BEAUTIFUL CLASSROOM LIBRARY… this blog post has SO many tips for classroom library organization
    Want to know where I bought all of the items in the photo? 
    You will find a shopping guide at the bottom of this post.

    Library Labels and Organization

    Once the structure of your library is in place, the next big step is ORGANIZING all of those books into bins. And, even more importantly, LABELING every item in the library so it can remain organized and functional for student use. Not sure where to begin? I've got you covered! 

    Every item in my own classroom library has been labeled and organized using my Classroom Library Labels {Black Series} set. This complete downloadable resource contains two sizes of box labels and coordinating book labels to help you sort and organize classroom books for virtually every reading level, season, holiday, month and theme. 

    classroom library labels

    Classroom Library Labels from Kinder-Craze truly are the ultimate resource for labeling your lower elementary classroom library. 

    this blog post has SO many tips for classroom library organization

    Using the set is simple. Print the desired book bin labels and laminate. Cut each label out and attach to library bins. I recommend using hot glue to apply the laminated labels to bins. It is lasting and durable, yet peels cleanly and easily from plastic surfaces. Print coordinating book labels (formatted to print on Avery 5160 labels) and cut into strips to separate labels. Attach to each book that will be stored in the matching bin for easy and child-friendly sorting and organization.

    gorgeous labels for a classroom library

    tips to label and organize your classroom library
    tips to label and organize your classroom library
    tips to label and organize your classroom library
    tips to label and organize your classroom library
    tips to label and organize your classroom library
    tips to label and organize your classroom library

    tips to label and organize your classroom library


    Where to Shop for Your Classroom Library

    People stop by the blog to check out my classroom every day and I receive a TON of emails asking where I purchased many of the items seen throughout the room. Here are the answers to the most common shopping questions!

    Feel free to pin the image below for future reference. 

    Where to shop to create a classroom library like this one!

    Green, yellow, and pink book bins (seen on the top and middle shelf under the windows) 

    Large pink and green baskets (seen on the bookcase on the left)
    Big Lots

    Small pink and teal baskets (seen on 2nd shelf of bookcase on the right)
    Five Below

    Green, pink, and blue magazine boxes (seen on bottom shelves)
    Big Lots

    White bench with black fabric boxes inside
    IKEA Expedit Shelf turned sideways
    (I apologize I could not find a current link to the shelf online)

    Rainbow Pillows 
    IKEA (could not find a current link online)

    *NOTE: Big Lots is a great source to stock up on classroom library bins and baskets. Unfortunately, many of these items are ONLY available at Big Lots in July and August during Back to School season. Keep your eyes open and stock up early
    They sell out fast! 


    Classroom Library Labels {Black Series} are available for purchase in my TpT store!
    beautiful labels to organize a classroom library


    More Questions…And Answers!

    Still have a question about something you saw in my classroom, answers can be found in many of my old blog posts. Click a question below to read my answer.

    I buy all my books from Scholastic book orders. How can I get more bonus points?
    I love the black silhouettes of children playing! Where can I purchase those images?
    Your classroom is gorgeous!Can I please see more photos?
    I love your {Black Series} labels!What other resources are available in {Black Series}?
    I love your stuff but I don't like to use a lot of ink.What products are available in the {White Series}? (Classroom Library Labels are coming SOON in the White Series!)

    I want to level my library books! How do I get started? 
    Stay tuned for a blog post to answer just that question!


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    Hello friends!  I have teamed up with Educents to bring you ANOTHER Interactive Sight Word Reader for FREE! Mother's Day is just around the corner and I know how difficult it can be to squeeze in the cute things during the final crunch of the school year.

    This sweet emergent reader titled "I Help My Mom" integrates language arts and sight word practice into your Mother's Day discussions. How sweet would it be for the children in your class to make and read this book to their moms as a gift for Mother's Day?!?

    FREE Emergent Reader for Mother's Day!
    Click here to download "I Help My Mom" Interactive Sight Word Reader for FRE!

    If you're not already familiar with Educents, let me fill you in on this great site! It's like Groupon for teachers! Each week Educents delivers a fresh batch of discounted educational materials for teachers and homeschoolers…everything from software, to educational games, and even some of your favorite downloadable products from other sites like Teachers Pay Teachers. 

    Every Educents deal is ALWAYS a great value, but you can make it an even better value! The Educents team knows how much I love Educents and they let Kinder-Craze fans save 20% on their entire purchase! All you have to do is use discount code KinderCraze20 at checkout. Amazing, right?

    Save an EXTRA 20% on your Educents Purchase

    Here are a few more great Educents deals this week. 
    But act fast because these deals don't last forever!

    High Frequency Magnetic Words

    High frequency magnetic wordsThis award-winning set of magnetic words makes it easy to practice writing complete sentences, master difficult grammar concepts, and enhance creative writing skills! The set includes 205 magnetic words, which are color-coded for grammar, and punctuation marks. By simply replacing a green word with another green word, your students can instantly see what a noun’s job is in a sentence. Repeat the exercise with verbs, adjectives, pronouns, etc. and watch their reading and writing ability soar!

     The words included in this set are a well-researched mix of the most commonly used words in the English language (from both the Dolch and the Fry word lists), sight words, rhyming words, and nouns that begin with every letter of the alphabet (great for teaching phonics and letter recognition).

     The 90 picture Nouns magnets are 90 of the most commonly used nouns in the English language. Combining the two sets will allow you to insert pictures in sentences to make rebus sentences - picture icons within the sentences.

    Save $10 on Specialty Games from Lakeshore Learning

    Are You Ready? Game Shows® are Lakeshore Learning Materials’ new series of play-at-home games designed to prepare children for the next grade of school. This exclusive set of innovative and interactive learning games provides an easy way for parents to prevent summer learning loss and improve children’s school performance in the coming year.

    Developed by Lakeshore’s team of expert teachers, these new games target the most essential math and language skills needed for success in kindergarten through 5th grade, while keeping kids incredibly engaged as they take on the exciting role of game-show contestants.

    I think this game would be PERFECT for my kindergarten students!
    Are You Ready? Game Shows from Lakeshore Learning


    Save 50% on Mother's Day Craftivity from the Moffatt Girls

    You just KNOW how much I love Annie at the Moffatt Girls! You can save 50% on her Mother's Day craft and writing activity. Even more ways to integrate a little ELA into your Mother's Day projects! 
    Mother's Day Craft and Writing from The Moffatt Girls


    Even if you don't buy anything, make sure you grab your free copy of "I Help My Mom!"
    It's a gift from me to you! 
    Perfect emergent reader for Mother's Day!

    Are you hooked on my Interactive Sight Word Readers?
     Buy the Bundles and save 50% (or more!)

    Bundle of Books, Part 2… best TpT Purchase ever!
    Bundle of Books… over 100 emergent readers in a MEGA bundle

    Don't you just LOVE a bargain?

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  • 05/05/14--18:47: Teacher Appreciation SALE!
  • It's that time of year… time to celebrate Teachers for all that they do; inside AND outside of the classroom. A teacher's job is never done and I know how tirelessly you work to deliver the best education possible to your students.

    What better way to celebrate yourself than with a little shopping spree?

    Save 28% on all Kinder-Craze products on TpT!

    That's right, it's the annual Teacher Appreciation Sale at TpT… the big sale you've been WAITING for! Save 28% on my entire TpT store when you use discount code TpTxo at checkout.

    Now is the time to STOCK UP on your favorite Kinder-Craze products (and buy those bigger items you've been drooling over while they are on sale!)

    My newest product is part of the {Black Series} line of classroom instructional decor.
    I am in LOVE with my classroom library and I created a set of Classroom Library Labels to meet all of your organizational needs.

    Classroom Library Labels

    Click here to learn more about my classroom library, how I organized it, and those gorgeous library labels.
    beautiful classroom library

    I also recently gave my Rainbow Skip Counting set a HUGE makeover! My students loved these activities and I love that they are differentiated. 

    differentiated rainbow skip counting

    differentiated Rainbow Skip Counting

    And, of course, now is the time to buy the Bundle of Books, Part 2! The collection currently contains 52 different Interactive Sight Word Readers. Each time I add new books to the set, the price gradually rises. At a savings of 28%, the price will never be this low again! 


    And just in case it's still on your Wish List, the original Bundle of Books contains 100 Interactive Sight Word Readers and is a huge value! 



    This is your week to shine and to SPLURGE! Stop by my TpT store and stock up on great Kinder-Craze products. But hurry, the sale only last May 6 and 7!


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    Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there! The students in my kindergarten class honored their mothers on Friday by inviting them to a very special Mother's Day Tea Party. This was another big FIRST for my class in our new building and I could not be more pleased with how sweet the event felt in our new setting. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    This year's Tea Party was held in the school's cafetorium on Friday morning. Typically, all students in the school eat lunch in this room. But on this day, the rest of the school had lunch in their classrooms so we could use the room for our special event. The other kindergarten teacher and I set up the tables after school on Thursday. We were lucky to have some extra help from a First Grade parent as well. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    Having a stage in the room was perfect for this event! The moms arrived a few minutes early for the party, poured themselves some tea, and got settled. Once all the mommies were ready, the kindergarten students processed onto the steps of the stage and recited a few poems and songs for their mothers. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas
    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    We added a photo backdrop to one of the walls with a pink chair from my classroom. The backdrop was created with simple flower shaped cookie cutters and tempera paint on blue bulletin board paper. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    We assign seating for the event. Each of the mothers sits on one side of the table (facing the stage) and her child sits across from her. The children painted placemats as an extra touch for this special day. The placemats were created by cutting a large teapot shape from 12x18" sheets of construction paper. The students painted the placemats by stamping cookie cutters shaped like flowers (mine came from this set on Amazon) and adding stems and leaves with green paint. These were laminated for durability. 

    kindergarten mother's day ideas

    Each mother also received a handprint tote bag from her child. Tote bags were purchased from Hobby Lobby. Each year the students pay a $25 "Kindergarten Fee" which covers expenses for the tea party, graduation, magazine subscriptions, class t-shirts and more. The bags were purchased with the fee money.  

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    These canvas bags are a modified version of our previous tea party craft: handprint paintings mounted on construction paper. Both projects are equally sweet gift ideas for Mother's Day. 

    cute handprint bouquet for Mother's Day

     A separate table was set up in one corner with tea and coffee refreshments for the Moms. Trays of cookies were placed at each table and the children were served juice. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas
    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas
    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    One of my oldest and dearest friends, Kristy, has a daughter in kindergarten this year. She is an amazing mother of 3 young girls (and a full-time teacher!)  It was so much fun setting up for the party in celebration for someone that is an important part of my own life. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    Kristy let het daughter decide which of mommy's dresses would be best for the tea party. I love that that she let her daughter select the wardrobe for the day! 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas
     adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    After everyone had their fill of tea, coffee, juice and cookies; it was time for photos! 
    The backdrop was a VERY popular corner of the room during this time. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day ideas

    Our Tea Party concluded with a reading of "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. The students gathered on the steps to the stage while the principal read the book aloud. 

    Each time the mother in the story sang to her son, my kindergarten students sang the refrain to their own mothers from the stage. 
    I'll love you for ever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.

    It was precious. 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas
    students reciting "Love You Forever" to their moms
    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    The moms loved every moment of the tea party! 
    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    Throw a Mother's Day Tea Party with Your Students

    Looking for more ideas and resources to help you throw the perfect Mother's Day tea party in your own classroom? My Mother's Day Tea Party Printable Pack has everything you need to get started. From invitations and RSVP cards; to cupcake toppers and bunting banners. Celebrate your classroom mothers with style! 

    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    Want to know more about what's included in the pack? This blog post explains it all! 
    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas

    Happy Mother's Day to all the Mommies out there. You are such a treasure to your children and I hope you were treated like a princess today! 
    adorable kindergarten Mother's Day tea party ideas


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    This week my latest selection from Stitch Fix arrived on my doorstep. This little brown box has become a monthly highlight that I always look forward to. Not sure what Stitch Fix is? Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service. Subscribers are matched with a personal stylist that hand-picks five items which she thinks will be the perfect fit and style and ships them directly to you. Simply put, it is the answer to all of my shopping prayers! 

    I'll tell you more about this amazing service later in the post. 
    For now, let's dig into my latest fix!

    Stitch Fix… online personal styling service for women

    A fun feature of the Stitch Fix experience is the relationship between the customer and stylist. If you have a special occasion, vacation, or other upcoming event that you would like some new clothes for, you can leave a note for your stylist requesting this to be the focus of your next fix. 

    This summer I am SO excited for my upcoming trip to Vegas to attend the SDE National Kindergarten Teachers conference. I can't wait to meet some of my best blogging friends and amazing fans. And I want to be step out in style for the trip. So I asked my stylist to help me find some great pieces to add to my vacation wardrobe. 

    The clothes in this month's fix were simply STUNNING. I loved the richness of each piece from the moment I removed the items from their tissue paper wrapping. 

    Stitch Fix… online personal styling service for women

    Here is a quick overview of each item that was included in my May fix. I adore the combination of fun prints, bright colors, and classic solids. This was a perfect color palate to enhance my summer wardrobe. 

    5 great hand-selected clothing items from Stitch Fix

    The first item in my fix was an orange chevron print and colorblock tank from Collective Concepts. I have been falling in love with all things orange and coral. Somehow, my stylist must have known this. The chevron print is a little wild, but the wide orange stripe at the bottom helps to balance it out. 

    Stitch Fix online personal styling service for women. They ship the clothes, you try them on!
    love this orange chevron color block tank from Stitch Fix

    I adore how perfectly chic this was when paired with the Kensie skinny jeans from last month's fix

    love this orange chevron color block tank from Stitch Fix

    My second item was a pink sleeveless fit & flare dress from Moon Collection. As you probably already know, I love bright colors. Especially pink. This dress, however, was a little too bright & bold for my taste. I had to pair it with a cropped denim jacket to tone it down a bit. 

    Stitch Fix online personal styling service for women. They ship the clothes, you try them on!
    love this pink dress from Stitch Fix

    love this pink dress from Stitch Fix

    Item number three was a navy and white striped skirt from 41Hawthorn. 

    Stitch Fix online personal styling service for women. They ship the clothes, you try them on!
    love this navy and white strip skirt from Stitch Fix

    You may find it shocking to know that my closet does not contain a single pencil skirt. I typically prefer my skirts to have a little flow and not cling to my curves. Instructions are always included within the fix to try on EVERY piece they send. I am a big rule-follower so on went the skirt!

    I'm so happy I tried it on because I kind of love it! I paired the skirt with a fitted white tshirt, a sophisticated scarf, and my Lovestruck Tieks. This was such a fun and comfortable outfit! 

    love this navy and white strip skirt from Stitch Fix

    Up next was a white henley knit shirt with gold buttons from Tart. 

    Stitch Fix online personal styling service for women. They ship the clothes, you try them on!

    The top was soft, cool, and oh-so-comfortable. I love to layer so I added a basic white tank top under the henley and dressed it up with some statement jewelry.
    love this casual white shirt from Stitch Fix
    I adore the gold buttons. 
    They add a little something special to an otherwise basic white top. 

    love this casual white shirt from Stitch Fix

    The fifth and final item included in my fix is my absolute favorite piece that I have EVER received from Stitch Fix. The Daphne Scalloped Colorblock Dress from 41Hawthorn may not look like much on the hanger, but don't let that fool you. It is a sweetly simple dress that is perfect for my teacher style. 

    Stitch Fix online personal styling service for women. They ship the clothes, you try them on!
    love this scalloped colorblock dress from Stitch Fix
    denim and a scalloped dress...love this outfit

    This dress also looked great with my denim jacket. Love, love, LOVE!



    The Breakdown

    I positively adored four of the five items included in my fix this month. I was all set to return the pink dress (it was just a little too bright for my comfort level to justify the price). Stitch Fix offers customers an amazing way to save on their clothes. If I decide to keep all 5 items included in my fix, I get to save 25% on my entire purchase. (Plus, I still get to deduct the $20 Styling Fee). I knew about this great little bargain so I did the math. It was actually less expensive for me to KEEP the pink dress and save 25% for purchasing all the items than it was to return the dress and miss out on the discount. In the end, I essentially saved about $15 AND got a free pink dress. Not too shabby!

    Here is the complete price list from my fix:
    Mara Chevron Print & Colorblocked Tank from Collective Concepts, $58
    Walt Striped Skirt from 41Hawthorn, $68
    Salerno Sleeveless Fit & Flare Dress from Moon Collection, $68
    Cliff Solid Roll-Tab Henley Knit Shirt from Tart, $88
    Daphne Scalloped Colorblock Dress from 41Hawthorn, $68

    Total: $350
    Buy all Discount: $82.50
    NEW TOTAL: $267.50


    A Quick Note About Prices
    New customers are always concerned about the prices of the clothes that come in a fix. You get to set your desired price range when you complete your online style profile. After receiving a fix, you have an opportunity to give feedback and they always ask how you felt about the price. Don't let my clothing prices scare you away. I let my stylist send items that are a little more expensive if she thinks I will love them.


    How Does Stitch Fix Work?

    Now that you have had a peek at my fix, I'm sure you have a ton of questions!
    I am happy to answer all of them for you!

    Getting Started
    Go to StitchFix.com and create an account. It's free to join. Once your account is set up, you will need to complete a style profile. It takes about 10 minutes and is just a few brief questions about your sizes, sense of style, and the type of clothes you like to wear. Mostly, it helps your stylist get a sense of the type of clothes you are most comfortable wearing. 
    Stitch Fix… online personal styling service for women

    Schedule a Fix
    When you are ready, schedule your first fix! For a $20 styling fee, you will be assigned to a personal stylist that will handpick 5 items and ship them to you. Shipping is free. You have three days to try the items on in the comfort of your home. This is much better than trying items on at the store because you have your entire existing wardrobe at your disposal. Try that dress on with your favorite shoes, scarf, or accessories. 

    Pay For Only What You Keep  
    Decide which items are perfect for you… and ship back everything else. A postage-paid shipping bag is included in your fix. Returns are free. Just place the garments you do not wish to keep in the bag and send it via USPS and log in to your Stitch Fix account to check out. You will only be charged for the items you decide to keep. THE BEST PART? Your $20 styling fee is deducted from any of the items you decide to keep. So, as long as you purchase something from your fix, you essentially get that money back in savings. How great is that?!?

    Save 25% on Your Entire Fix
    Want to save big on your next fix? Customers that purchase every item included in the fix (like I did this month) get to save 25% on their entire fix!

    Check out More Great Fixes
    Click here to see more fashions from my previous fixes!


    I would LOVE for you to sign up for Stitch Fix using my referral link (included throughout this blog post). Each time someone signs up using my link, I receive a small credit in my own Stitch Fix account. The credits help me offset the clothing costs so I can continue to blog and share my finds with you! 


    Stitch Fix Giveaway

    Want to try Stitch Fix risk free? I'm giving away a $20 Stitch Fix gift card. This is enough to cover your first Styling Fee so you can have all of the fun of a personal stylist without any of the risk.

    ENTER TO WIN a $20 Stitch Fix gift card!

    Use the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Want another chance to win? My friend Marsha from A Differentiated Kindergarten is also giving away a $20 gift card! Make sure you stop by and enter!

    A DIFFERENTIATED KINDERGARTEN


    Until Next Time…

    Stitch Fix addicts: have you heard the good news? You can now arrange to receive a fix every 2-3 weeks (instead of just once a month). My next fix is already scheduled and I am SO excited!


    I'm also linking up at The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday!

    Stich Fix Link-Up

    Are you a blogger with a recent blog post about Stitch Fix? Link up your post to boost your traffic and show off your fabulous fix! Please use good manners and include this button in your post. Make sure you also link back to this post.

    Stitch Fix link up




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    A few weeks ago, I shared tips for organizing your classroom library. The response to that blog post has been overwhelming! In the post, I explained that I sort the books in my own classroom library by reading level, as well as theme. 

    Sorting by theme is the easy part. We all know the importance of providing developmentally appropriate texts to students, but leveling an entire library can be a daunting task … until today! 

    Tools to help you level your classroom library

    I have researched a few of the top tools (both free and paid) for aiding teachers as they level their classroom libraries. Today I bring you pricing information, photos of the tools in action, and my HONEST opinion of each resource so you can make an informed decision about what will work best for you as you level your own classroom library. 

    Tools to help you level your classroom library

    I was pleased to discover that several companies provide iPhone and Android apps that allow you to scan the barcode and receive leveling results within seconds! Free or paid, iPhone (and Android) apps are my favorite type of resource because they are the fastest and most efficient way to level your books. 

    I'll start by walking you through a few of the apps I recently installed on my iPhone. It is important to note that whether it was free or paid; no single app was able to identify and provide leveling information for EVERY book in my library. As you might expect, the paid apps sometimes provided data which was lacking in the free apps. In other cases, the FREE Scholastic Book Wizard app provided information about books that the paid apps did not! I would not expect a single resource to single-handedly level your entire classroom library, but each of the apps I successfully tested were able to level an impressive amount of books from my own library. 

    tools to level your classroom library


    Scholastic Book Wizard App

    Looking for a great FREE resource to help you get started? Start with the Book Wizard app from Scholastic! The app allows you to manually search (by typing the name of a tittle, author, or keyword). Most importantly, the app has a scanner that allows you to simply scan the bar code to quickly search the database for book information. I was pleased to discover that information for MANY of my classroom books was available in the app. A brief synopsis of the book is included on the "Book Info" screen as well as title, author, and book level information. The one (minor) downside was that the level information was presented in a rather tiny text. As a result, the book level didn't jump out at me, I had to really look at the screen to see it. 

    Bonus Feature: The Scholastic Book Wizard app also allows users to create an inventory of all titles in  classroom library. You can also designate how many copies of the book you own and additional notes (such as where the book is filed in your library). I did not see any means to check books in or out. The list would mostly be a helpful tool for helping teachers quickly find a book or keep track of books they already own. 

    Level It App

    My favorite of the paid apps was the Level It app. Just like Book Wizard, this app allows users to manually search for a book, or use your phone's camera to scan a book's bar code. This app also provides a description of the book with title, author, and level information. I loved how the levels are easier to discern with a quick glance at the screen. When I had a big stack of books that needed to be leveled, I appreciated being able to quickly and easily find this information so I could move on to the next book in the pile. This app is available for iPhone and Android users.

    Level It app to level your classroom library books
    Bonus Feature: The Level It app includes a feature to inventory your classroom library, along with a class roster. This allows the teacher to create individual student profiles and the ability to check in/out books to specific students. This is not a feature that I can see myself implementing in my kindergarten classroom, but I know it is a tool that will prove to be useful for MANY classroom teachers. 


    Literacy Leveler App 

    The Literacy Leveler App by FikesFarm, LLC is similar to the Level It app, but a bit more basic. Priced at $3.99, this app is currently only available for iPhone users. It allows users to manually search by title, author or ISBN; as well as scan each book's bar code. Although the format of the app is simplistic compared to Level It (the other leading paid app for iPhone users) and did not include a book synopsis, I did appreciate the fact that book level information was boldly formatted and easy for users to see.
    Literacy Leveler iPhone app to level your classroom library books

    Bonus Feature: The Literacy Level app allows teachers to create an inventory of all titles included in their classroom library. It does indicate how many copies of a title a teacher possesses; nor does it allow teachers to make notes about each book. Despite its limitations, the library tool allows teachers to easily see a list of all books in their classroom library books at a given reading level with a quick touch of the screen.


    Classroom Organizer App

    Another free app for iPhone and Android users is the Classroom Organizer app from Booksource. The app allows teachers to determine reading levels, organize, and track books in their classroom library. The description of this app sounds amazing (especially for a free product). Unfortunately, the great features offered by this app are overshadowed by it's shortfalls for usability. I followed the instructions and got started by creating an online account with Booksource, but after nearly a dozen attempts, have not been able to successfully log in to the app. Some things should simply not be this much of a challenge. I'm sure it's a wonderful app, but I have yet to see it in action.

    Classroom Organizer…. level  out your classroom library books

    Tools to help you level your classroom library

    If you don't have a smart phone or you prefer to look things up on your computer (the new old-fashioned way), there are a few websites that can be equally helpful as you level the books for your classroom library.

    A to Z Teacher Stuff Leveled Books Database

    The Leveled Books Database at A to Z Teacher Stuff allows users to search by title or author to determine the reading level for student books. Teachers have the option of searching to find Guided Reading Level or Reading Recovery Level.

    Although the database is not comprehensive (MANY popular titles from my classroom library are missing from the online resource,)  it is free and helpful for some books. If you are just getting started, this is a resource that should not be overlooked.
    Leveled Books Database from A to Z Teacher Stuff

    Scholastic Book Wizard

    If you love the Book Wizard app, you should know that this was the website that started it all. The Scholastic Book Wizard is a free website that allows educators to search by title, author, or keyword. Users can view a book's Grade Level Equivalent, Guided Reading Level, or Lexile Measure. The extensive database was my first step when I began to level my own classroom library a few years ago. 
    level the books in your classroom library with Scholastic Book Wizard

    Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Book Website

    For educators seeking a more official means of leveling their classroom books, the Leveled Book Website from Fountas & Pinnell is available as a subscription service. With a base price of $25 for an annual membership, group discounts are also available.



    I Leveled My Books… Now What? 

    Once your classroom books have been leveled, you will want to make them easily accessible to your students. My own classroom library consists of two categories: books sorted by level and books sorted by theme.  The box containing each type of book is clearly labeled, and each book contained within the box is given a small coordinating label. This way, students have a clear visual cue to help them return books to their proper location. 

    tools to help you level your classroom library


    My Kindergarten Classroom Library

    Find out more about my classroom library in this blog post. Learn how it's organized, where to shop for my favorite book bins and see the little touches I added to make it extra special for my students. 


    Classroom Library Labels

    Organize your library in style with my classroom library labels. Available in {Black Series} and {White Series}, this downloadable product includes labels for a variety of levels and themes to suit your classroom needs. Classroom Library Labels can be purchased in my TpT store. 

    classroom library labels


     Do you have plans to level your classroom library this summer?
    What is your favorite book leveling resource?


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    Summer vacation is just around the corner and it is time to remember all of those wonderful parent volunteers that have helped you run a smoothly-running classroom.  This time of year is crazy. Between assessments, report cards, end-of-year paperwork, student awards, graduation ceremonies, and so much MORE; most teachers just need something QUICK and EASY. 

    Kinder-Craze has you covered. Tell your classroom parents "thanks a latte" for all they have done with this adorable (free) gift tag.

    FREE "thanks a latte" gift tags for end-of year parent gifts

    Simply purchase 9.5  fl oz bottles of Starbucks® Frappuccino® and print these FREE "thanks a latte" labels onto Avery 5163 shipping labels. For a little pop, mount the labels onto black cardstock and trim to create a black border around the tag. Punch a hole in the upper left corner of the gift tag and attach to the neck of the bottle with ribbon. 

    FREE "thanks a latte" gift tags for end-of year parent gifts

    This free gift tag would also be a great way to accent to coffee mugs, a teacher's favorite variety of Keurig K-cups, travel mugs, and more! 

    FREE "thanks a latte" gift tags for end-of year parent gifts

    What creative way would YOU use this tag to show thanks in your school or classroom?

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    Today is my first day of summer vacation and LIFE IS GOOD! I have been engaged for over a month, but I promised myself that I would wait to start planning the wedding until after school was out for the summer. I did, however, decide allow myself one pre-summer wedding indulgence: engagement photos.

    cute school-themed engagement photos

    I wanted my engagement session to reflect the background of my fiancé, Rob, and myself. It only seemed fitting to have our photos taken in a school. Rob and I both attended Catholic Schools in the area. Today, Rob represents many schools at the law firm he is employed by. And of course, there is the fact that I am a teacher. 

    As many of you already know, my entire school recently moved into a new building, leaving behind a beautiful historic structure with a rich history. The move was necessary for countless reasons, but the old building will always be a treasure to me. My grandfather attended school in the former St. Mary building so many years ago and I was a student in the same building for all of my Pre-K-8 years. During that time, my mother taught Second Grade at my school. I literally grew up in this building and it is the place that I spent countless hours playing school while waiting for my mom to complete her daily classroom preparation.

    I was overjoyed to return to this beautiful structure that greatly shaped the woman I am today and take photos with the man I am going to marry. Today's blog post is a just-for-fun peek into a beautiful historic school. Each photo was taken on site. Enjoy the personal tour. The architecture and building details are stunning. Each corner, room, and hallway are filled with memories. 

    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos

    A gorgeous glimpse into a room that served as a library when I was much younger. 
    cute school-themed engagement photos

    Brian, our photographer, saw the frosted glass and thought it would make for an interesting photo. He had no way of knowing, but this particular door was the door to my mother's second grade classroom. I LOVE that it was the subject of the photo. So many memories.
    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos

    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos

    The best part of an old building? 
    So much character. Including these gorgeous french doors. 
    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos
    cute school-themed engagement photos

    We had a blast hanging out on so many fire escapes around the building. 
    cute school-themed engagement photos

    This photo is one of my very favorites. Nobody said I could only have one very favorite.
    cute school-themed engagement photos

    cute school-themed engagement photos

    Rob and I are thrilled beyond words for all of the blessings God has given to us. We owe Brian from BTW Photography a huge thank you for his incredible photos. Not only did he capture the essence of Rob and I are as a couple, he also helped preserve the memory of a building that will always be near to my heart. He is truly one of the most talented people I have ever met and I cannot wait to see the work he does on our wedding day. You can stop by the BTW Photography Blog to see even more photos from our engagement session.

    BTW wedding photography

    One last photo before you go. As I sit down to write this post with my fingers on the keys, this seemed like a fitting image to leave you with. Thank you so much for your sincere excitement and joy for this next big step in my life. I can't wait to see what the future holds. 

    gorgeous rose gold engagement ring and MacBook keyboard

    Want to see more photos as I prepare for my new life? Follow me on Instagram for a peek at my activities behind the scenes of Kinder-Craze.


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