Monday, June 18, 2012

50 Post Giveaway and Alphabet Water Bottle Fun!

Good Morning Teacher Friends!  As I was laying in bed (at 9:00 this morning soaking in every ounce of that feel good ahhhhhhhhhh summer vacation feeling) I realized that I am a few posts shy of 50 on Sprinkle Teaching Magic!  Why is this a big deal you may ask?  Well...awhile back, before this blog was born,  Mr. Winemaker and I had a conversation about starting blogs over a glass of vino.  Mr. Winemaker was encouraging me to start this blog and gave me some tips.  See, Mr. Winemaker reads a lot of wine blogs and though it may be a different more yummy sort of blog he knows his stuff.  I remember him saying, "To build a blog you need content!  50 posts.  50 posts is when you know you have arrived." I took his tip to heart and here we are!!!!   During this same blog talk with Mr. Winemaker we discussed my fears of follow through with a blog. I have a tendency to get really excited and go pedal to the metal and burn myself out.  We brainstormed ways to work through this and keep my passion and love for blogging a constant steady.  He is such a support! I am glad I jumped in and I am so proud of myself that the 50 post mark is within reach.  I think this calls for a celebration and giveaway don’t you?
I rounded up some of my favorite blogger books!  You have a chance to win one of these!  Here is some background on the books I have chosen:

Back in 2005, before teacher blogs as we know it even existed, I started following the Nie Nie Dialogues.  At the time my dear friend Shannon and I were Mormon blog obsessed.  Neither of us are Mormon but we found blogs created by Mormon women to be better then Martha Stewart, HGTV, and Food Network combined!  These blogs were filled with recipes, gorgeous photography, how-to-guides for amazing crafts, wholesome family values, and just made (still do) us happy.  My closest friends know I can’t live without my Mormon blogs and teaching blogs … and now the secret is out on Sprinkle Teaching Magic!  You have a chance to win Nie Nie’s first book!

The Pioneer Woman is another blog I have followed forever!  To me she is the blog guru! I drool over her recipes and learn so much from her photography tips.  This giveaway includes her latest cookbook.

Last but not least my home girl Tori Spelling.  I am not ashamed to admit it but I am an avid watcher of Tori and Dean’s reality tv show.  In FACT,  I own the first two seasons of ‘Tori and Dean Inn Love’ on DVD.  Yes, I had to special order them through Amazon!  I LOVE HER!  Last year she came out with a blog ediTorial and a new book!  Mr. Winemaker gave me ‘celebraTORI’ for my birthday this year and it is filled with crafty and party throwing ideas plus gorgeous pictures. 

Now I know these books are not teacher related BUT it is summer and we need some fun summer reading!  This is also my first time using Rafflecopter so I am excited to try it out!  There are lots of ways to enter so be sure to check it out!  The giveaway ends on July 2nd! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now on to more teaching related photo fun!
I love making homespun signs to hang up on the first day of school.  Here are some examples of my favorite signs!  To make them I use fun wrapping paper and then mount tag board centered to the front.  After I decorate my sign I run it through the laminator to stiffen it up. 
The first week of school I usually start off with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom theme.  Parents send in empty bottled water containers and I get them all cleaned up. I buy the foam letters from Michaels and use silver glitter.  Students stuff their bottle with the alphabet and a spoonful of glitter.  We fill the bottles up with water.  Each student receives a laminated card with the alphabet and goes on an I Spy a letter hunt!  We even pull out the Vis A Vis overhead projector pens (remember those?) and as students find letters they check them off their laminated alphabet card.  Love this because we can wipe the check marks off and do it all over again!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Long Time No Blog

The end of school and the start of summer vacation is a whirlwind blur of packing up my classroom, putting on a class celebration, saying goodbye to my dear sweet kinder class, a fancy dinner out with Mr. Winemaker to celebrate the end of school, his New Jersey family flying in, and then adventures to the coast/wine country/bbq fun/shopping and much more!  Head over to my other blog “She Said G Said” for a picture journey of our adventures!
It feels good to be back in the blog state of mind and back in the blog world.  I missed you!   
It feels like the last week of school was years ago!  What was I up to those last weeks?  Putting together gifts for my volunteers, principal, secretaries, and a gift for my students. 
I decided to put a different spin on volunteer gifts this year.  Instead of heading to a store to purchase something cutsie (that usually adds up and ends up out of my budget) or spending hours on Pinterest getting sucked into cute crafty ideas which would require computer ink and printing, I headed to my small outdoor garden.  Let me preface this by stating I have a love boarder-line obsession with succulents and over the years via gifts, thrift stores, and Ikea I have collected quite a few little pots.  The beauty of succulents is you can cut off parts of the plant and viola they grow a new plant.   Succulents are also incredibly hardy and require very little water.  Seriously,  no-green-thumb-no-worries succulents are user friendly.  My kinda plant, I tell ya!  Plus succulents are becoming quite popular especially as favors, bouquets, and even cake toppers at weddings!  Check out my Pinterest board devoted entirely to succulents!  Back to the volunteer gift… I took a scissors and snipped off succulent parts, planted them in soil, and I was done.  Easy as that.  I got so into it; I made a new succulent table centerpiece for my kitchen table, and I made my fantastic principal and secretaries their very own succulent collage. 
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Final Product:
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These gifts were a hit!  The special touch, they came from my garden, which made the creation even more special. 
As I thought about a gift for my students, I really wanted to give them a special memory of our kindergarten class that they could hang in their rooms.  When I first joined Pinterest, melting crayon art was the craze.  In fact I think melting crayon art was my first pin ever!  In the back of my mind I knew I wanted to try it out some day, and finally my seed of an idea/pin has come full circle. 
With the help of my fantastic volunteer moms, we purchased small canvases from Michaels.  Using leftover crayons from student’s crayon boxes and a few extra purchased crayon boxes, we used a knife to cut the crayons in half.  We taped two colors to each side of the canvas at the top.  This way students could pick their own colors and arrange them on the canvas the way they wanted without crayons rolling off.  Crayons were then hot glued to the canvas.  The blue painter’s tape was used at the bottom so the melting crayons would go over the tape.  This way we peeled of the tape and had room for students to write “I Love Kindergarten”, their names, and the date.
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Now for the best part of the entire art project!  Students came outside and helped melt their crayons with a blow dryer.  The colors were AMAZING!
Here are some snapshots of the finished product! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

We have a winner!

Congratulations Angie from Rulin' the Roost it's your lucky day!!!  You just won yourself a $80 Blog Makeover from Cutest Blog On The Block!!!! 

(Angie, I will be connecting with you sometime this week!)

Have you checked out my other blog She Said G Said???  Be sure to check it out!   I posed Mr. Winemaker the question:  What is it like to date a teacher?  He has answered in all his honesty and glory and it is up on the blog.  A must read for teachers and more importantly spouses, boyfriends, and anyone else that is very close to a teacher.  I love this comment a reader left after reading his post:

"Found this blog from "your teachers" comment on another teacher blog and I loved this! I want to leave it open on the computer for my husband to read because he would enjoy it!"

If you get a chance to check out our other blog please leave Mr. Winemaker some comment love and consider following.  

While you are at it you may want to read this post I did on She Said G Said awhile back on teaching kinder. Click HERE!

What's happening in my kinder room?  Craziness...utter end of the year craziness I tell ya!  We are currently gearing up for Father's Day.  This year my mom and dad moved out of my childhood home and 50 + cigar boxes were dumped in to my classroom with hopes that I could put them to use.  Well, I did triumphantly!  Father's Day here we come!  I pulled out my gigantic bin filled with art bits and bobs, and I pulled out my magazine bin, and finally I put on some fun working music.  The kids were engaged for THREE solid days no joke!  In fact with the extra boxes left over students are creating treasure boxes for themselves.  

Check out my cuties hard at work:



We made some cute Father's Day Dress Shirt/ Tie Cards.  

It's all about the hearts in kinder right? 


What I learned from this project:  

The kids LOVE free reign in decorating and letting their artistic creativity go wild.  The messier the tables became while doing the project meant the more fun that was being had!  This project is hilarious and I was shocked at how well students know their dad ("My dad loves beer so I am cutting out this beer for him.  See look!"  When I looked closely they had cut out a soy sauce bottle.  LOVE!)  Students were so very proud of their boxes that I let each of them wrap their gift in bright green wrapping paper.  Everything about this project was homespun.  I hope when the dads or grandpas see the wrapping paper crumpled, smushed and taped slapped on everywhere their hearts melt a little.  Cigar boxes, oatmeal containers, shoe boxes....really anything would work.

Have a great weekend teacher friends!

Oh and don't forget to join my link party fun!  I have loved reading the links posted so far!  Click on the picture below to join in.   Keep Calm And Blog On!