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Thursday, January 31, 2013

DIY Hanging Collage Hearts and Freebie

As much as I enjoy "skill-linked crafts", I also love free exploration art activities with children.  There is something about "here are the supplies, and the directions, now enjoy the process" that I think is pretty fascinating to see in action.

I sent this idea to my daughter and she enjoyed the activity with my three grandchildren.  Their ages range from 9 years old to 3 years old and each of their hanging hearts turned out beautifully.  These hearts are a sure fire winner for children of all ages.  How cool would your classroom look during the month of February with these hanging from the ceiling?

Steps 1 and 2:  Gather all that scrap tissue paper, scrapbook paper, construction paper and old wrapping paper that you have laying around.  Have the children tear the paper in strips and glue them onto a piece of white construction paper.   Glue sticks are perfect for this step.  It keeps the paper from getting too "wet".  (I like to use Elmer's glue sticks- this is a project where quality glue helps).  

Steps 3 and 4:  Give the children a large heart pattern to trace.  Have them trace it on the back of the collage paper and on a piece of red construction paper.   Then have them cut out both hearts.

Steps 5 and 6:  Staple the two hearts together leaving an opening at the bottom 1/4 section of the heart.  Stuff the inside of the two hearts with 2 paper towels and finish stapling the entire heart together so that it is completely closed.

Step 7:  With a hole punch, create a hole at the top of the heart.  String the heart with a pretty ribbon.  You're now ready to hang beautiful, unique hearts from your classroom ceiling.

Here's a fun little freebie Valentine roll and cover game.  It's from my $1.00 Valentine Roll and Cover games packet.  The packet contains 3 single die Roll and Cover games and 3 double dice Roll and Cover games.  Click on the picture below to download this game board.
Click on game board to down load.
P.S.  Don't forget Sunday Super Sale on TpT.  It's a real bargain.  Anything I sell that is priced at more than a dollar will be 28% off. Click on the image below to see my sales.

Have a great weekend!
Granny (Cindy) 

Freebie Fridays

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Purrrrfect" Valentine Craft and Freebie

Just finished my "Purrrrfect" Valentine Craft and Literacy packet.  I love this little guy and he's so easy to put together.  I also had a great time with the literacy activities.

Your K-2nd grade students are sure to enjoy this "purrrrfect" Valentine packet that includes: 
* ABC Order (first letter)
* ABC Order (second letter)
* Valentine Letter Prompt: You are my purrrrfect Valentine because... (primary lines).
* Valentine Letter Prompt: You are my purrrrfect Valentine because... (secondary lines).
* Four in a Row - High Frequency Word Game (kindergarten)
* Four in a Row - High Frequency Word Game (1st 100 word list)
* Four in a Row - High Frequency Word Game (2nd 100 word list)
* Fix It- sentences (kindergarten)
* Fix It- sentences (1st grade)
* Fix It- sentences (2nd grade)
* First Letter in the Word - Activity
* "Make a Word" Activity (fill in the correct vowels)
* Sneaky "e" word sort and recording sheet
* Opposites sorting and recording sheet
* Illustrated craft directions
* Patterns ready to copy onto construction paper- no need to trace.

I have started offering my craftivities in an Economy pack (only $1.00) that includes one writing prompt, the craft, directions and patterns.  I realize that many teachers already have their activities and just want something to "refresh" their bulletin boards.  This makes freshening those bulletin boards very affordable. 

I also want to share my new Heart Break Games.  They are a fun way to help your students practice math facts - addition and subtraction.  The games have cards for math facts 1-10 and 10-20 in both addition and subtraction.  The games are designed to increase mental math skills and get those basic facts down pat!

Flip over a math facts card and correctly answer the problem.  If your answer is correct, you get to cover one of the hearts on your Heart Break! playing board... but wait a minute, if you turn up a card that says, "Heart Break" or "Heart Throb" or "Heart Beat" you'll have a surprise coming your way!

I am offering the two games for $1.00 each on TpT BUT I would love to send my followers a free copy of their choice.   All you need to do is make a comment, leave your email address, and let me know if you want the addition or subtraction version. This free offer will be good until February 14, 2013.  Consider it my Valentine gift to my followers who I so appreciate! 

If you bought those great little dollar store "table scatter" packs the hearts make for perfect game board tokens.  If you missed the table scatter then candy hearts, pennies, gummy hearts, etc. work just as well.  Anything that adds a little extra charm to the play will work wonderfully.

Contest Update:
1)  If you haven't done so yet, be sure to head over to Teachers' Notebook for a last chance to win a tablet of your choice.  You just have a few more days left to enter, and who doesn't want to win a tablet?
2)  The winner of my Quietest Pencil Sharpener raffle is Nan H.  

Have a great week-
Granny (Cindy)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DIY Plant a Kiss, a Planting Activity, and a Freebie

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a wonderful February book.  Actually it's great for any month but works especially well for Valentines.  The story (which seems to have less than 100 words) conveys the beauty of sharing, kindness, and giving.  The illustrations are simple and the kiss that grows is a sparkly gem that Little Miss joyfully shares with everyone.  As she shares the sparkly gem of kisses gets bigger and more beautiful with each page.
Click here to see more about the book.

I was so touched by this simple book that I just had to come up with a "plant a kiss" activity.  If you complete this activity in the next week or so, your students may well have a blooming (or at least growing) delight to share with their families on February 14th.  The project starts with making "kiss packets" (or in other words) a variation on seed tape. 

If you are unfamiliar with seed tape, it's a way to lock seeds in place on thin pieces of paper that you then plant.  It helps control too many seeds being deposited in one place.  You actually plant the paper packet and the seeds grown through the paper. 

To create "kiss" seed packets:
You'll need red or pink tempera paint, empty toilet paper rolls, and (very cheap and thin) white paper towels or toilet paper, or white tissue paper, corn starch, and seeds (I used African Daisies because they sprout in 5-10 days).

Please note that the thinner the paper you use, the greater the chance your seeds will germinate in just 5-10 days.   

1)  Fold the toilet paper rolls in half so that the ends look like big lips.
2)  Put tempera paint on a paper plate and use the toilet paper roll to stamp kisses on your toilet paper, thin white paper towels or white tissue paper.  Let the printed paper dry.
3)  Mix 1 Tbs. water with 1 Tbs. corn starch.  It will make a gluey substance. 
4).  Cut the printed and dried paper towels (or other paper) into 1.5 inch strips.
  5). Paint the center of each strip with the corn starch and water mixture.  Drop about 3-5 seeds in the wet corn starch mixture. This will help the seeds stick and stay in place. 
6).  Fold the paper towel over and press down firmly capturing the seeds in the corn starch.  Trim the strip to include only the section with the seeds.  You now have a neat little "kiss packet" of seeds to plant.
7)  Decorate a paper cup with pink or red price dots/labels.  Hint # 1: It's not a bad idea to limit the number of dots that each child gets... if you know what I mean.
8)  Fill the paper cup with moist potting soil to about the three quarter mark and lay the seed packet on top of the moist soul.   Cover the packet with about 3/4 of an inch of additional soil.
Your African Daisies are now ready to be loved, watered and bathed by sunlight for the next 5-10 days.  Hint # 2:  I ALWAYS plant about 5-7 extra cups that I tend at home.  Should a child's seeds not germinate I sneak (yes, I said sneak) into the classroom at about day 11 or 12 and substitute my plants with the ones that have not yet sprouted.  It's so disappointing when everyone is taking a plant home for Valentines and one or two children are taking home only a cup of dirt- OUCH!

You now have "kisses" that your students have planted for Valentines.  They make great little Valentines plant gifts for mom and dad.

Now speaking of kisses... I have a cute little kisses, hearts, and I Love U graph designed especially to be used with those little target erasers.

Click on graph to download. 

Enjoy your weekend.
Granny (Cindy)
Freebie Fridays

Monday, January 21, 2013

Quietest Pencil Sharpener Give Away

After having seen these pencil sharpeners on a number of blogs I decided to contact Troy at Classroom Friendly Supplies and see for myself.  He sent me this one AND he is going to let me raffle one off to a follower. 

They are pretty amazing.  They are quiet and they really work well.  I had a little trouble at first- (that's the problem with not reading the directions).  Once I took a look at the video provided by Troy on his site, it was a breeze.

First I sharpened regular pencils and they turned out REALLY sharp in record time.  So I decided to give the sharpener a more difficult challenge... dollar store colored pencils.  If you've ever purchased dollar store colored pencils you know what I'm talking about when I say "difficult challenge".

Here are the results.

It's a great product developed and sold by a primary school teacher.  They are quick, quiet, and really work well... what's not to like?

You can enter my raffle for a chance to win one.  It's pretty simple.  Click on the picture of the sharpener and go to Classroom Friendly Supplies. Note how many colors are offered and the exact name of the color you want to win.

Now just click on Raffle Copter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great week
Granny (Cindy)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Freebie Valentine Mini-pack, and Other Great Fun Things

I was fooling around the other night and came up with this cute and VERY easy little Valentine bird.  What I liked about the ease of the craft is that it fits perfectly into a center that will give the kiddos a chance to practice following directions.

I created an illustrated directions page to be laminated and placed in a center.  The pattern pieces are ready to be copied directly onto colored construction paper.  This gives the children more time to focus on the directions part of the activity.

After they have finished, they can work on sequencing and ordinal numbers.  The mini-pack also contains a "Label It" activity,  a "Read It, Trace It, Write It" activity, 8 Valentine Word Wall cards, and the patterns.  

I put this up in my TpT Store for $1.00 but I would like to give it to my followers and blog visitors for free.

The finished Valentine bird.

Click here to download the mini-packet. 

Now I have to show you the stash I found at the dollar store.  They had the cutest table scatter for $1.00 a bag (50 per bag).  I can't wait to make some fun math and literacy games with them.

I understand that some people can't find these at their Dollar Tree.  I purchased an extra set If you are a follower and leave a comment you will be entered in a chance to win the set in a random drawing.   Please leave your email address on your comment.  If you are the winner, I'll contact you for your mailing address.

Winner of Random Drawing:

For those of you that missed the Target heart dice, they now have these cute pink and red dice in their dollar section, as well as some very cute erasers.  (Sorry about the glare on the pictures).

Also, do stop by Mrs. Wheeler's 1st Grade and see her post on Managing Behavior Mid-Year.  She explains her Good Behavior Game and Prize Box system.  I followed the link to her TpT store and got the giggles... her prize activities are wonderful!  For $2.00 you'll get 8 pages of prize cards that are delightful! 

Last but not least, Irene Leeby at Learning With Mrs. Leeby is hosting her 200 Follower Give Away.  You don't want to miss this one.  She is giving away a $50.00 Target gift card, a $25.00 TpT gift card, and a $15.00 Starbucks gift card.  Click on the image below and head right over for a chance to win!

Have a great weekend and be sure to come back next week when I post freebie activities to go along with my new dollar store and Target finds.
Granny (Cindy)
Freebie Fridays

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Groundhog Day Fun

I know everyone is getting ready for Valentine's Day... and I will too, just not yet. I have been working on my Groundhog Math Pack.

I live in Tucson, Arizona - the home to millions of groundhogs (O.K. gophers, not the same but close).  They're everywhere and they are the cutest dang things (when they are not eating your flowers and veggie gardens).

So of course, I had to make a craftivity, clip art, and math activities in honor of these little guys. Here's a peek at the craft:
I have simplified the craft by placing pattern pieces together that can be copied directly onto the correct color construction paper.  In short, there is no need for the students to trace patterns if time is an issue.  Just copy the patterns onto the correct color and give the students sets to cut out and assemble.

Now for the fun part, the math activities.  I included the following:

"I Know That Spring Is Coming Because..."( writing prompt: kinder-2nd)
"Punxsutawney Phil Knows That Spring Will Come Because..." (writing prompt: kinder-2nd)
Magic Numbers 1-10 (kinder-1st; 2 pages)
Magic Numbers 1-20 (1st-2nd; 2 pages)
Who Am I? (number logic kinder-1st)
Who Am I? (number logic 1st-2nd)
Help Groundhog Find the Right Path Home ( 4 pages: kinder; kinder-1st; 1st-2nd; 2nd)
Weather Graph (kinder- 2nd)
February Weather Graph (2 pages: kinder-1st; 1st-2nd)
Roll and Chart Game (kinder-2nd)
Read the Room Math (2 pages: kinder; 1st-2nd)
Directions and (copy onto construction paper) patterns

While creating this unit I had a chance to read quite a few groundhog books.  If you haven't read Gail Gibbons Groundhog Day! , it's a great nonfiction for the kinder- 3rd grade classroom.   

Substitute Groundhog by Pat Miller is very cute.

 Also Scholastic Books is offering Who Will See Their Shadows This Year? by Jerry Pallotta.   It looks adorable!

Leave a comment and I'll select two (random drawing) winners to receive the pack.  Please remember to leave your email address on your comment.

The two winner are:  Kathy and Mrs. P.  Your packs are on their way!  Thanks everyone for leaving your kind comments.

Thanks and have a great week.
Granny (Cindy)