Monday, March 24, 2014

St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day photo blitz!

This fabulous freebie is from Falling Into First.  The four things Colby treasures are his dog Baron, his "magic stick" (which is just a cool-looking stick he found in the woods, and is extremely attached to), Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, and the toy house that he got for Christmas.  So cute!

We found this Shamrock Trinity Craft at  It's FREE! 

This shamrock alphabet freebie is courtesy of The B Keeps Us Honest; there is also a similar freebie for numbers.  This was great practice for Colby!

Colby completed two worksheets from Color Me Ten: Color by Number Ten Frame Practice by Danielle Kroger.  Each theme in the packet has three levels, and there are themes for the whole school year.  Very useful product, and it's great when you need something quick but meaningful!

This fun Pots O' Gold addition game is a freebie from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten!  There are about a gazillion more freebies in the post!  Seriously, check it out.  Math and literacy galore!

Of course, we had to make something beautiful for the classroom wall!  Believe it or not, this craftivity is a freebie from Teaching's a Hoot!  If Colby found a pot of gold and a leprechaun gave him six wishes, he would wish for his birthday, computer time, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, lots of candy, and summer.  Love it!

This was a favorite activity; both of the boys really enjoyed this game, even though it was really easy for Hunter.  I wish I'd gotten some pictures of them playing it!  Like all of Marsha's McGuire's fantastic products, it's differentiated.  Students can race to 30, 50, or 100.  I ended up wishing I'd printed off one of the more difficult game mats, as Colby caught on very quickly.  Leprechauns Love to Race is FREE on TpT!  
We read a lot of St. Patrick's Day books this year!  Below, I've linked to the ones the boys enjoyed the most.  To find out more about any of these, just click on the pic! 


For lots more St. Patrick's Day freebies and DIY ideas, check out this Pinterest board:

Blogs and Shops mentioned in this post:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mittens, Penguins, and Wintry Things

This picture pretty much sums up the entire month of March in my neck of the woods:

Snow, snow, and more snow!  Every time we thought it was over, another storm blew in.  
The boys and I really didn't mind; we like snow, and we spend our days cozy at home anyway.
One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that we never have to cancel due to bad weather!

It did delay the start of any spring-themed activities, though.  It just didn't seem right to be jumping into flowers and robins with another 12" of snow falling outside.  We've continued on with cold weather stuff, including Jan Brett's "The Mitten".

How cute is this free activity from What the Teacher Wants?
Colby's page says "A rat climbed into the mitten because he was cold".

We practiced ordinal numbers with these "The Mitten" Sequence Cards by Erin from Creating and Teaching.  They're free!  Download a copy here.

Colby retold the story with the help of these free printable retelling props from 

Handprint art at it's finest!  Colby turned his hand print into an iceberg with five little penguins!  He made the thumbprint penguin appear to be leaping into the water.  We added tiny googly eyes to each penguin.  The finished product is very, very cute.  We found the idea here.

There is a Marsha McGuire I-Spy activity for every occasion!

Check out I-Spy Cold Weather Addition and Subtraction, and while you're at it take a minute to explore the rest of her TpT shop - we love her products! 

This super cute addition to ten activity is from Caitlin Clabby's Penguins: Math, Literacy, and SO Much More.  I've mentioned this product in previous posts (here); there are over 30 penguin themed activities!  We've loved everything we've used so far, and we will have plenty more to do next year.  It was a great buy.

Colby loved this beginning sound sort by Lorie Duggins.  It's just one activity from her FREE 53-page Snowman Literacy Centers pack.

Here's a closer look at part of the activity.

Colby loves to rhyme!  It occasionally trips him up, though, so we're making sure to get a little more practice.

This fantastic Winter Rhyming Cards are a freebie from KinderKids Fun!  Visit the blog and download a copy, and some other great freebies, right here.

I got these adorable nesting penguins on, and we love them!

Colby just doesn't get sick of playing with them.  You can find them right here .

For oodles more freebies and ideas, check out these Pinterest boards:

Blogs and Shops mentioned in this post:

Marsha McGuire (TpT Shop)
Lorie Duggins (TpT Shop)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Valentine's Day! Links, Freebies, and Our Favorite Products

We worked Valentine's Day activities into our schedule throughout the whole month of February.  I wasn't able to get pictures of everything, but you'll get the idea!

This cookie sheet addition activity was Colban's favorite!  We found the idea and the free printable at the Chalk Talk kindergarten blog.  The post is just full of adorable ideas and freebies for Valentine's Day.  Check it out!

We tweaked the idea a little bit and used these super-cute heart cookies!  If you want to use them too, you can download them here.  There are two sizes; we used the larger ones, but if you're not using 12x12 paper they'll be too big.  

He completed another of Maria Manore's Interactive Sight Word Readers for his "Colby Library".

You can find this one right here, for only $1!

He also made this sweet little "Things I Love" book.  You can find this freebie at the Frog Spot blog!

As you can see, one of the things Colby loves is pickles!

I love this little art project.  Colby filled up his Heart Map with the things that are important to him, and I helped label them when he was finished.  You can get a Heart Map for free from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations!

Here's a close-up of a section of Colban's map.  It shows his dog Baron, his stuffed bunny, his Grampa and Grampa's cat Livi, a game, noodles, and of course his beloved pickles!

This pocket chart activity was really great.  Colby matched each numeral to the number word, and also to the corresponding set of hearts.  He was able to do this independently, with a number line for self-checking.

Here's a picture of the completed activity; we left it up for the next couple weeks and Colby used it as a reference for several other activities.  You can get this fabulous freebie from KinderKids' TpT shop!

A lot of our favorite activities come from Marsha McGuire; we use something of hers pretty much every week!  Colby especially loves her I-Spy activities.  This one is Valentine's I-Spy Addition and Subtraction.  We used both addition and subtraction activities, but I only got pics of the addition part.

Colby uses a magnifying glass to find the problems hidden in the picture, then solves them on the recording sheet.  It's a really fun way to practice, and with his interactive number line (find this freebie here!) he can solve the problems himself.

We also really like her Write the Room activities!  Usually I hide the cards for Colby to find and take back to his seat, because he prefers to write at the table.

This is one of the addition activities from Valentine's Math Lovers Write the Room.  We also did one of the subtraction activities but it seems I forgot to take pictures!

Another fabulous I-Spy, but this time for sight words!  This packet has activities for all 11 Dolch lists, so we will be using it for years.  Of all the I-Spy activities I've bought from Marsha McGuire (many!), this one is my favorite!  The pictures are just too cute.

Adorable, right?  Colby loved them too.  After he finished the activity he spent some time learning how to draw these spotted mushrooms.

Colban really likes activities where he gets to draw and color, so this was perfect for him.  This color-by-ten-frame sheet is from Color Me Ten: Color By Number Ten Frame Practice by Danielle Kroger.

There are worksheets for holidays and themes throughout the year, and each theme has worksheets on three levels.  It's a cute product!

All of these candy heart activities are from Talk To Me Sweetheart! Conversation Heart Activities by KinderKids.  This Estimation Station activity was a lot of fun; the boys did it together.  They guessed how many hearts it would take to fill up the big heart on the paper, and then they counted to find the real number.

I gave Colban a baggie of candy hearts, and he graphed the colors.

It's tough to see parts of his completed graph because he used light colors, but you get the idea!

This is a simple but (as you can see) fun counting activity.

Candy heart ten frames!

Using candy hearts for non-standard measurement, too!  
These are just a few of the ten activities included in the packet, and I'll be able to use the others next year!  Included are different options depending on which brand of candy you use, so that the colors will match, and also an ink-saving black and white version.

We made very good use of Caitlin Clabby's Valentine's Math and Literacy Centers.  There are twelve great activities in the pack; we used most of them, though I didn't get good pictures of everything.  This one is "Teddy Bear Ten Frames", which we decided to do with paint and q-tips.  We made a mess but Colby had a blast!

Here's a moment of triumph as Colban completes the "Heart Attack" activity.  I try not to intervene when he gets stuck during math; he's great at figuring things out on his own, and when he does, the reaction is priceless!

Here's a closer look at the activity.  
I'm bummed that so many of my photos came out blurry; I really wasn't able to do justice to a great packet.  I really recommend checking it out, and browsing the rest of her store while you're at it!

For more Valentine's Day freebies and ideas, check out my Pinterest boards:

Blogs and Shops mentioned in this post: