Every year in December students make Christmas gifts for their parents. This year I decided to make stained glass window pictures! The first thing I had to do was go to my favorite store, The Dollar Tree to purchase a frame for each student. For this project I am used 5 X 7 size frames. In my art cabinet pulled out acrylic paint, paint brushes, black Sharpies, plastic cupcake tray, and a dry erase marker.
Jackie Kops 11:02:00 PM
WHOOO! The BIG classroom reveal! I made some new additions to my rainbow classroom this year and kept all my fun makeover items from last year too! When I was taking the pictures for this post I thought of a few more things I want to update. It is always a work in progress! I am always adding new activities, taking out the old, putting up new student work, taking down the old, and organizing.
Jackie Kops 11:16:00 PM
Fire drills can be terrifying for preschoolers and many children. It is loud and students are everywhere. I created a book (aka social story) about fire drills to help make fire drills not so scary. The book has simple text and illustrations. It explains why we have fire drills, what is will sound like, what they will do, and what will be happening around them. Here are a few pages from the book.
Jackie Kops 3:33:00 AM
WHOO! Portfolio & Assessments made EASY has been updated! SO much has been added to this. You now have tons more student portfolio covers to choose from, all the dividers have been updated with cute clip art, new skills have been added, progress reports (4 to choose from), and more charts so you can create a NO PREP assessment binder! It is now a whopping 285 pages!
Jackie Kops 12:43:00 AM
"Play is often talked about as if it was a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning." Mr. Rogers. I LOVE this quote and it really speaks to how important play is. As teachers it is our job to set up the environment, question, and take students' play to the next level!
Jackie Kops 10:52:00 PM
Teaching students to make good choices is HARD! Students need to learn how to make good choices just like they need to learn their letters and numbers. Social development directly affects ALL other areas of learning. One of my main goals for students is to be happy, confident learners who can solve problems and work collaboratively with others. Being able to make good choices when they are alone and interacting with others is a BIG part of that.
Jackie Kops 11:28:00 PM
Happy summer! I am so excited to share with you a makeover of one of my top selling products Grocery Store. I have had this on my to do list for some time. Once I got going I went crazy! It got so big I divided into two products. Now I have Grocery Store Dramatic Play and Food Math and Literacy Centers. For those of you who messaged me and only wanted the center activities, here you go! If you have purchased Grocery Store BEFORE today, I uploaded BOTH Food Centers and Grocery Store Dramatic Play in the file for you!
Let me show you all the additions I have made to Grocery Store Dramatic Play!
Now what did I make over? I added MORE classroom photographs so you can see my Grocery Store in action. I am a visual learner so I LOVE looking at other teachers' classrooms and on Pinterest to get new ideas because I can SEE it! I hope the extra photos give you inspiration to make your grocery store come to life in your classroom.
Originally, I took photographs of food containers to make the labels. Those are still in there because some of you have told me you liked the real pictures rather than clip art. I made NEW cute and adorable labels with fun clip art. There are more labels than you would need! You can organize your grocery store to best fit your classroom and your students.
Signs! I had MANY people request a blank set of signs so students could write the words on them! Wish granted!
Roles (who students pretend to be) for the grocery store are cashier, clerk, and shopper. Sometimes is it hard to think about ALL the things each role can do. I have a solution...a cheat sheet! I made a teacher cheat sheet that breaks down what each role can do. I find that if you give students MANY options, the play lasts longer, more props are used, students are more creative, more peer interactions and conversations occur! The best part is I observe LESS challenging behaviors! WHHHOO! There are so many different things for students to do, they are not fighting over props as much.
I couldn't share all about the grocery store without sharing about my favorite thing the produce section! I have these great marker boxes I keep for all my dramatic play fun and I added a scale and produce bags to create the produce section. Students created the veggies and fruits using paper, pipe cleaners, and pom poms! I LOVE when students can use their imagination during play. You don't have to always use the perfect plastic food in the dramatic play center.
My new product (drum roll please) Food Math and Literacy Centers full of fun, hands on games and activities and games! Why do worksheets when you can play games and have fun?
Literacy Fun! You will find fun, hands on games and activities to practice letter identification, syllables, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing. You can see Lunch Syllables below which is my favorite literacy game in the pack.
Food vocabulary word cards! We use in my classroom for so many different games and activities. Students build the words with magnet letters, stamp the words in play dough, write the words on chalk boards, clap the syllables, and sort the words by number of letters, beginning sound, or number of syllables. I use the upper case word cards with my younger students who are just learning their letters and the lower case with my pre-k students who are more familiar with their letters.
Math Fun! I made many FUN math games and activities to practice one to one correspondence, counting, addition, number identification, shapes, sorting, and patterns. My students last year LOVED Find and Trace Games. They had no idea that they were also building fine motor when they erased their boards! Look how inviting Food Shape Find and Trace looks. Students pick a card, find the shape on their board, ad trace it with a dry ease marker.
To celebrate the make over, Grocery Store Dramatic Play and Food Math and Literacy Centers are 50% off until midnight on Tuesday! Any new product I post is always 50% off for the first 24 hours so be sure to follow me to save!
A big thanks to the hosts of TPT Seller Challenge (Sparkling in Second, Teach Create Motivate, Peppy Zest Teacherista, & Third in Hollywood) to get me motivated to do a make over! I can't wait to see what they have in store for us next week.
Jackie Kops 10:39:00 PM
Dramatic Play is a center that can get boring so spice it up by transforming it into an Aquarium! The kids LOVED this theme and so did the teachers! It was something new, different, and involved ocean animals. Kids LOVE ocean animals. Change the center into something that they are interested and excited to learn and you will see a higher level of play! You can get Aquarium Dramatic Play from my TPT store by clicking HERE. Check out our Aquarium!
Jackie Kops 1:11:00 PM
Letter formation and handwriting can be fun and interactive! You will find 26 different ways to make letters without doing a worksheet.
By providing students with materials they can create or write letters with, they will want and be excited to make letters! Isn't that what wee really want...kids to be excited about letters?
Jackie Kops 10:45:00 PM
The last two weeks of school I spend reflecting on the school year with the kids to celebrate everything they have done, accomplished, and learned! I have a multi-age classroom. Some of my students will be going to kindergarten. Some of them will come back next year and be the "big kids" in my class. We talk about and read about what is going to happen, what that will look like how they may feel, and how they will be successful! If they know what is coming and have confidence they will be successful in their new place the transition will be much smoother for the child and the family too.
Reflecting on the school year also helps with the transition. It is a fun way to show kids how much they have grown, learned, and are able to do! Memory books are a fun way to do this.
During our journal time, each day students journal in their memory books. Everyone does the same page. Each day I introduce what they are going to journal about and we brainstorm as a class on that topic.
A fun page to do was "My Favorite Books". We have a favorite book basket in our library. Students took out their favorite book to help them with that page. Below are more fun pages in their memory books!
"A Map of My Classroom"
"I Learned About"
Students used name tags to copy their friends names on the My Friends" page.
"My Favorite Part of the Day"
Go grab Memory Books from my TPT store by clicking on the preview below. It contains 24 different journal pages (with lines and without),, a note from your teacher page, and 5 covers to choose from!
During circle, I read books about each of our centers (blocks, art, discovery, library, and pretend) and reflected about all the things we did in that center on the white board. For the art center I read The Art Box and created the cart below.
The last day I read 26 Big Things Small Hands Can Do and we reflected on ALL the things they can do now. They were calling out so many things that they could do! Each time someone shared something that they can do, other students would share how they can do it too. One student said, "wow I am so smart look at all the stuff I can do now that I am a big kid!" It was a very loud and exciting circle time!
I always have students help me close down the classroom. They wash toys in the sensory table in bubbly water using sponges and toothbrushes. It helps them process that the school year is coming to a close and something new will start.
Students help me take everything down off the walls and take apart class books. All their art, projects, journals, and portfolios go into a box which over flowed into a laundry basket.
I make a long line of brown shopping bags and staple name cards (from my art center) to the side of the bags. As an arrival activity, students sort all the student work into each students' bag.
Everyone's bags went in their cubby and I stapled their DVD on the bag. I made a DVD for each child with pictures I took over the school year of them! Students were so excited to go home and go through their bag with their families!
The Monday of the last week I sent home their summer packets on BRIGHT paper. It included summer math activity charts, summer writing journal (with parent letter), summer reading activity charts, and parent handouts on various skills. Go grab Summer Math, Summer Journal Writing and Reading, and Parent Handouts by clicking n the covers below.
I hope you have or had a great end of the year!
Jackie Kops 9:56:00 PM
The last unit of the year has to be fun, engaging, and something students are interested in. Ocean (pirates too) was the perfect theme! Students were learning and having fun! I am linking up with Kindergarten Dragons to show you a spotlight of my ocean centers.
Pirate Flag Count
Ocean Animals Ten Frame Play Dough Mats
Fish Bump -1
Just a note, I also had Fish Bump Counting out in the center for my younger students.
Ocean Spin & Graph
Make a Pirate Map
Ocean Animal Research
Pirate Letter and Sound Match
Ocean Animals ABC Order
Students hid the letters all over the center first and found them. Then they put the letters in ABC order This was also a great way to make sure students found all the hidden letters.
Ocean Writing Paper & Ocean Word Cards
Click on the cover and you can go grab your Shark Color by Letter!
Look at ALL the math center activities that are included.
Look at ALL the literacy center activities that are included.
If you would like to purchase Ocean Math and Literacy Centers for your classroom click the cover.
Be sure to go check out Kindergarten Dragoons to check out other teachers Spotlights!