Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Summer Games and Activities for Kindergarten

Last week I shared some summer center ideas and freebies. I'm back today to share some end of the year / summer activities, partner games, and freebies that are so fun for the end of the year or summer school. These are activities are set up a little differently than summer centers. Rather than simply recording their answers, students use dice, spinners, and cubes to complete these activities. Plus being able to work with a partner is also a bonus!

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

First up is this "Summer Spin Off" math freebie.

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

Students can play with a partner. They each need a game board, small manipulatives {mini erasers work great}, and the spinner to share. Students use a paperclip and pencil to make a spinner. They take turns spinning the spinner. They identify the number that they spun, find the number represented on their board, and cover it.

You can have students play this game as "4-in-a-row". The first player to cover 4 spaces in a row wins. OR the first player to cover all of the spaces on their board is the winner. 

Quick tip: How do students decide who goes first in partner games? Before the game begins, have each student spin the spinner or roll the dot cube. The player that spins or rolls the bigger number {or smaller number...you choose} goes first.

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

You can also have students play individually. Students simply spin the spinner and cover the corresponding number on their board.

Next up is a freebie partner game for practicing beginning blends. 

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

Students need a copy of the game board and a dot cube. Players take turns rolling the cube, counting the dots, and using the code at the top of their game board to cover the pictures. If a player rolls a number and all of the pictures have been covered, they skip their turn. The first player to cover all of the pictures is the winner. 

You can download these freebies by clicking any of the pictures above.

I wanted to share some pictures of the "It's All Fun & Games: Summer Edition" packet. The 35 literacy and math activities included are either no prep or minimal prep. You'll find a wide variety of skills included, so there's something for everyone! The packet includes a mix of no prep activities, independent activities, and partner games.

Because these activities use dice, spinners, and cubes students think they are games and love working on them. Most of the activities in this packet can be used as partner games for students to play learn with one another. All activities include "I Can" visual directions. This packet is one of my favorites for the end of the year because these activities are always well-received by students and keep them engaged.

You'll notice that the set-up and directions for all of the activities are very similar. This is intentional. With the It's All Fun & Games series the activities stay the same, but the skills change. This way you do not have to constantly reexplain the directions. Students become accustomed to the directions and know how to complete the activity.

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

For this independent activity students spin the spinner and count the watermelon seeds. They record the number and complete the addition sentence. 

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

This is another activity that students complete independently. Students need a paper clip and pencil to make a spinner. They spin both spinners to create a subtraction sentence and solve. There's also an addition version included. 

The next three pictures are examples of the types of activities that can be played individually or with a partner. 

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

Students working individually on this "Base Ten Color and Count" roll the cube and use the color code to color the matching cup. 

If using this activity for a partner game, students take turns rolling the cube and coloring a cup on their paper. If students roll and all of the cups have been colored, they lose a turn. The first player to color all of the cups is the winner. 

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

To use this as an individual activity, students spin the spinner and read the number. They find a bubble with the corresponding number of dots. They color the bubble using the color from the spinner. 

If using this activity for a partner game, students take turns spinning the spinner and coloring a corresponding bubble. If they spin a number and all of the bubbles have been colored, the player skips their turn. The first player to color all of the bubbles is the winner. 

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

For "Up, Up, and Away" students roll the cube and find the corresponding number on the cloud. They color the cloud using the color code. This activity can also be turned into a partner game by providing each student with their own recording sheet and having them take turns recording their answers. If a player rolls a number and all of the clouds have already been colored, they lose a turn. 

Quick Tip: You could also slide any of these recording sheets in a page protector and have students mark their answers with plastic linking cubes or mini erasers. 

Here's a sample of some of the literacy activities. Just like the math activities, these can be completed individually, as shown. Or students can play these as a game with a partner and take turns spinning the spinner or rolling the cube. 

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

That magic e can be tricky, so here's an activity to help! Students spin the spinner and say the name of the picture. They find the matching word on their paper and use the color code to color the popsicle. 

Or turn this into a game by having students take turns spinning and coloring or covering the answer on their recording sheet. Just like with the math activities, if a student spins a picture and all of the popsicles have been colored, they skip their turn. First player to color all of the popsicles is the winner. 

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

Beginning and ending digraph practice. Use this as individual practice or a partner activity. Picture names for all ELA activities are included in the packet.

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

With "Spin a Blend" students spin the spinner and use the color code to color the pictures with the matching beginning blend. Or turn it into a partner game! 

For any of the partner activities above, you can slide the recording sheet in a page protector and play as a "BUMP" game. Students will need their own set of manipulatives to cover their answers. 

BUMP Directions: Students take turns rolling the cube or spinning the spinner and covering a corresponding answer with their manipulative. Students can either cover a new picture or BUMP their opponent off and place their game piece on top of the picture. If a player rolls/spins the same number/blend/picture/etc without being bumped off, they can stack their manipulative {think of a "king" in checkers} and can no longer be bumped off. The game is over when all of the spaces have been filled. The player with the most spaces covered is the winner.

The next two activities are ones that students complete independently.
Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

For "Draw a Word" students spin the spinner and read the word family. They write a word from the word family on their paper and draw a picture to match.

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

I love this activity for a writing center. Students spin the spinner to determine which picture or "topic" they are going to write about. Students create and record a simple sentence and draw a picture to match.

You can check out all 35 activities in this Summer Activities and Partner Games for Kindergarten.

Looking for some learning games to keep your Kindergarteners engaged at the end of the year or during summer school? Check out the math and literacy freebies and ideas in this post. You'll find activities to keep your kiddos on task and having fun!

Or you can find this packet in the 2nd It's All Fun & Games BUNDLE.

Thanks so much for reading about these summer activities and partner games! 



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Summer Centers for Kindergarten

Summer is quickly approaching. This is the time of year where teachers may feel like they need to step up their game to keep learning happening. There is still work to be done, still teaching to do, but the kiddos {and teachers} know that the end is in sight. We know it's important to provide our students with highly engaging activities throughout the school year - but during these last weeks of school it feels even more important. If students are on task and engaged in their work the behavior is {hopefully} less likely to be disruptive.

BUT we are tired. There is no tired like teacher-at-the-end-of-the-year tired. And you definitely have a million and one reasons to feel that way!!! But fear not, a break is coming! Today I want to share with you some easy and fun activities that will help get you through the last few weeks of school. They are easy to prep and the fun summer themed will keep kids loving what they do!


Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

First up is this math freebie

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Roll to 100 is always a class favorite. It's a fun way to practice numbers to 100. Just print the page and laminate or slide in a page protector. Add some dot cubes {dice} and plastic linking cubes or mini erasers. 

To play this game students roll their dice and count the number of dots. They use the cubes or erasers to cover that many spaces on their paper game board {it sounds much cooler!!!}. They continue rolling and covering the number they rolled until they get to 100. I have my students change cube colors colors or mini erasers for each roll.

You can also make this into a partner activity.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Simply provide each student with their own game board and manipulatives. They will take turns rolling the dice and covering the number of spaces they rolled. The first student to make their way to 100 is the winner. You can add a twist...the player must roll the exact number to get to 100. So if a student is on 98 they must roll a 2 to win. If they are on 99 they must roll a 1 to win.

Here's a fun and easy summer themed literacy freebie to practice CVCe words.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Students roll a dot cube and match the number they rolled to the code on the right of the paper. They cover a picture from the corresponding word family. I have students use a different cube color for each word family. I hope your students find that this makes for a fun way to practice long vowel word families!

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Here's another way to play...turn the activity into a partner game!

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Students will need a dot cube and their own color plastic linking cubes. Students will take turns rolling the dot cube and covering a corresponding word family picture. If a student rolls a word family and all of the pictures have been covered, they can bump their opponent off and place their cube on top of the picture. If a player rolls the same word family twice without being bumped off, they can stack their cube {think of a "king" in checkers} and can no longer be bumped off. The game is over when all of the spaces have been filled. The player with the most spaces covered is the winner.

You can click on any of the pictures above to download the freebies.

 Here's a few pictures from the activities included in my 6 Pack Center: Summer Edition. All of the activities in this packet are summer themes and perfect for the end of Kindergarten. They would also make engaging activities for summer school.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Nothing says summer like some hot dogs and ketchup!  With this activity students read the CVC word on the hot dog and match it to the CVC picture on the ketchup to make a rhyming match

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

On the recording sheet students record the CVC rhyming pair.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

For this activity students are practicing short vowel sounds. They say the name of the picture on the sun and find identify the missing vowel sound. You can also use magnetic letters to have students spell the words.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

To record their answers students match the number on the card to the number on the recording sheet. They write the word on the recording sheet.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Secret code words are such a fun hit in the classroom. We have them for Sight WordsCVC Words, and CVCe Words

This secret code activity practices beginning and ending digraphs. Students identify the beginning sounds of each picture clue to spell a simple word {CCVC or CVCC}. They decode the word and match the picture card. Also included is a beginning sounds reference page for students.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

Here is the recording sheet for the secret code digraph activity.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

As teachers we love activities that make our little learners think. This activity practices ten frames and teen numbers, but with a little twist. Students identify the number represented by the ten frame. Rather than just writing the number that is shown, they create an addition sentence on their paper to show the number.  

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

This is a fun way to practice addition and subtraction. Students determine which of the three equations at the bottom of the card equals the number at the top of the card. 

I have students to use a plastic linking cube or mini eraser to mark their answer on the card. You could use clothespins to have students clip their answers. This activity really makes students pay attention to the signs to determine whether the number sentence is addition or subtraction.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

To record their answer students match the letter on the card to the letter on their paper. They record the addition or subtraction sentence.

Keep learning and engagement strong with these fun summer centers for Kindergarten.Use them to finish your year or in summer school. Be sure to grab a couple of freebies to help you finish the year off right. You'll find activities for digraphs, short and long vowels, numbers to 100, teen numbers, number words, addition & subtraction, and more!

I love when we can practice two skills with one activity. Here we are practicing counting and number words. Students count each set of ice cream scoops on the card. They color the ice cream scoops on the recording sheet to match the ones on the card. They write the number to show how many scoops there are for each color. Then they record the number word. {Included in this is a number word reference sheet for students.}

So there you have it! Some super easy summer centers for Kindergarten that you can put together to keep your kiddos learning and having fun until the very end. Happy summer to you! 



Monday, May 15, 2017

Mini Eraser Storage Solution for the Classroom

Mini erasers are all the rage right now. What is not to love about them? They are super cute, colorful, kids love them, and they make really inexpensive classroom tools. They are perfect for counters, behavior tools or incentives, math manipulatives, and so much more. Plus the hunt for them is so addicting. How many of you find yourself running to different Targets when you see new erasers come out? It's okay, you don't have to raise your hand...we all do it! :) But how do you store all of those? Today I'm going to share a mini eraser storage solution!

I worked on this project over the weekend and posted a picture of it on my Instagram account. I got several direct messages asking me about the bins, how many erasers each held, how I organized them, etc. etc. So I thought I would do a quick blog post and break it down for you and answer the questions. 

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

Below is a picture of my mini eraser problem collection. I had so many ziploc bags full, it wasn't even funny! I often get asked where I get mini erasers from and the answer is several different places. My "collection" is from Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, Party City, and of course...Target! 

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

Public Service Announcement: If you're not careful, this is what your eraser collection can turn into. This isn't even all of them. I have the erasers scattered in multiple bins because I had no real organization system. This was a mess for my OCD brain.

But awhile back I saw a picture that Jennifer at Simply Kinder posted on Instagram and I thought "I can do that!". I'm definitely not the craftiest gal around, so it's not often that I look at a DIY project and think I can pull it off.

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

I bought four of these storage containers and some E6000 glue on Amazon. You can check them out using my affiliate link here: ArtBin Store-in-Drawer Cabinet: 30 Drawers and E600 Craft Adhesive Glue. Just a quick tip about the glue: The one that I linked is the one I found easiest to use because of the pointed tip on top. Plus it's clear so if it runs over a little you can't see it when it dries. You could also use a hot glue gun...but I avoid using those when possible. It always turns out a mess. Haha! E6000 is my go-to glue for all my gluing needs!!! 

First I gathered all of my erasers and I sorted them so I knew about how many drawers I would need. (We did not have a kitchen table for awhile, but it was worth it.) I sorted them by seasonal and then every day erasers. 

What I love about this system is that it's not permanent. You can move and rearrange the drawers as needed. If you get new erasers you can always make room for them by moving drawers around. I don't think I could handle Halloween erasers in the Valentines section! 

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

I started by gluing one of each eraser on the outside of the drawers. I laid the containers on their backs as I glued the erasers on. This is so the glue can dry without the eraser sliding down. I left it like this until the glue was somewhat set, which didn't take too long. By the time I was done gluing, the first container I worked on was dry.

I learned that it is important to make sure the entire back of the eraser is covered with glue. The first two or three I glued on didn't have enough glue on the back and they came off easily. But once I made sure the entire back of the eraser was covered in glue, none of them came off. 

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

Once the fronts were dry I filled each basket with the corresponding erasers. Now you're probably wondering how many erasers does each drawer hold? That really depends on the size of the eraser. Each drawer can hold about two 60 count packs of the smaller Target erasers, but it's kind of tight to open and close the drawers. It can definitely hold one and a half 60 count bags. For a lot of the shapes, I had three bags so two drawers worked perfectly. I put one and a half in each basket.

After the baskets were filled I started putting them in the cases. I made one case for every day erasers. Those were smiley faces, dinosaurs, trucks, owls, etc. - the ones that can be used year-round. The other bins were for seasonal. I moved the baskets around as necessary until I found an order I was happy with. (As I mentioned above, I LOVE that this system is not permanent and you can shuffle and move as needed.)

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

Here's a picture of the finished product. I love, love, LOVE that these stack. They are really sturdy once you get all of the erasers in them. You can see a few drawers are empty. I'm hoping Target comes out with some awesome new erasers so I can fill in those lonely little drawers!

Here's some close up pictures.

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

What is awesome about these little basket is that you can pull them out and hand them to students to use. 

Mini erasers make classroom learning so much fun. Kids love them and so do teachers. But how do you store all of those mini erasers? Click through to read about a space saving organizational project that will have all of your mini erasers at your fingertips!

When the students are done, they put the erasers back in the basket and the basket slides right back into place. Easy clean up! This activity comes from my Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Matching packet.

I can't tell you how much better I feel having this project done! I hope that it helps you! You can check out these posts to read about activities and freebies using the mini erasers. Thanks for stopping by and reading about my mini eraser storage solution project!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

12 Tips for Packing Up Your Classroom

The end of the school year is quickly approaching. It's the time of the year where we are all running on caffeine, chocolate, and visions of warm sandy beaches. Some days it seems like the end can't get here soon enough! But with the close of every school year comes a never ending "to-do" list. It feels like you've got a years worth of work and only a month {or less} to do it in. It can be so overwhelming and stressful, but with a little thought and planning it doesn't have to be. Today I'm going to give you a few tips for packing up your classroom. These are tips that I've used to make the end of the year a little less stressful.
From one teacher to another, helpful tips to get you ready for summer! The end of the school year can be stressful. There is so much to do and so little time. But with a little planning you can easily get your classroom ready for summer with little to NO stress.

Prioritize. 
What jobs are considered "must do"? Which ones are the "I'd really like to" projects? Make a list of each and then prioritize each list. Obviously you'll want to work on the "must do" list first as these are things you NEED to do to leave for the summer. Set a date that each task needs to be done by and stick with it. If it's a date set by the school {returning library equipment, textbook counts, supply requests, etc} then you'll need to factor those dates in too. Afterwards, if you have time, go back and tackle the list of projects you would LIKE to do. Those might be changing bulletin boards, sharpening new pencils, etc. Want to instantly make yourself feel better? On your list, write down something you've already done and then immediately cross it off. It feels SO good to cross stuff off! 

Manage Your Time. 
Once you have prioritized, decide on one task to tackle and complete it. Don't stop until it's done. {Be realistic though, don't set out to do a huge project if you only have 10 or 15 minutes.} Work in one area of your room at a time, rather than jumping around to different areas. Also, I find it easier to dedicate one or two days a week to come in extra early or stay late, rather than doing a little "here and there". I work better when I have longer time spans, versus several 15 minute windows.

Start Early. 
If you know that you are finished using a resource or an item in your classroom, organize it and pack it away. Don't wait until the very last week of school. This does not mean that you should start taking down bulletin boards or putting away classroom manipulatives several weeks before school is out. You don't want to send a message to your students that school is over. I'm talking about the small things that you can do behind the scenes, without your kiddos noticing, like organizing inside drawers and cabinets.

Get the Kids Involved.
By May or June my math manipulatives are so unorganized, the magnetic letters are a mess, puzzles are mixed up, and the classroom library is really just a pile of books in one area. These are not projects that you need to sit and do yourself. Save them for last week and let the kids do it! Kids can sort puzzle pieces, math manipulatives, magnetic letters, broken crayons, and dried out markers. It keeps them busy. And it makes them feel helpful.

Don't Cram. CLEAN. 
At the end of the school year we just want to get out the door. It's easy just to shove papers, supplies, etc into hiding places and deal with it later. It's really, really tempting. I, too have crammed a cabinet or two in my day. But when I return in August I ALWAYS regret it. Always. There is no magic fairy that comes in over the summer to tidy it up. It's still there when I get back. So do your future self a favor and take the time to clean, organize, and file away. If your school allows, clean and organize your shelves then cover them with bulletin board paper. You can always re-use the paper for students to color on during the first week of school or to cover the tables during Open House. 

From one teacher to another, helpful tips to get you ready for summer! The end of the school year can be stressful. There is so much to do and so little time. But with a little planning you can easily get your classroom ready for summer with little to NO stress.

Purge Baby Purge.
Most teachers are hoarders by nature. I don't know about you, but Pinterest has made me afraid to throw anything out. You just never know when you'll need a 30 toilet paper rolls or a chip canister to make that really cool project you saw in your pin feed. But it's not practical, you can't save everything!!! You need to let go. If something has served you well, or you haven't used it in years, or you know you won't need it next year - get rid of it. Ask your colleagues if they would like it {one man's trash is another's treasure, right?!}, start a "free" table, recycle if possible, or throw it away.

Take Pictures. 
Seriously. Take pictures of your classroom from multiple angles. In August, I can never remember what my classroom looked like in May. Pictures serve as great reminders! {I do this in my house at Christmas too. I can never remember where I had the decorations from year to year!} Take a few notes of things you liked and worked well. Also take notes of things that didn't work so great. If you've got a few ideas of how it could work differently, jot those down while their fresh in your head.

Pack a Back-to-School Survival Box.
Have you ever packed to move, got to your new house, and you can't find your coffee pot? You live on coffee and you can't find your coffee pot?! It's happened to me. When packing you always pack important things that you'll need right away in an easily accessible box, right? The classroom is no different. Pack the important things that you will need first, so when you get back to school in August you won't be hunting for scissors or a stapler. You might want to include post-it notes, Sharpies, pens, tape dispenser, adult scissors, a stapler, etc. in your box.

Pack a Take-Home Box:
Clear bins make the best take-home boxes. They are sturdy and you can easily see what is inside. Also, the items are contained so they aren't taking over your dining room table or your entire house. In your take-home box you may want to include any personal items that you don't want to leave at school. You may also want to include the first week of activities and read alouds. This way you can work on a little bit of planning towards the end of summer. You may also want to pack up community classroom supplies like bins, scissors, whisper phones, etc to take home and wash or disinfect...{This is a great job for the dishwasher!}

Be a Label Lady.
We've all told ourselves: "I don't need to write this down, I'll remember it." Hahaha!!! Lies we tells ourselves. Face it, you're going to forget what's in the boxes you are packing. When August gets here you're going to have memories of vacations, sleeping in, spending time with your own kids - not what you packed in June..and that is OKAY! But do yourself a favor and just stick a label on it now! Label everything so you know what everything is and where it goes. 

From one teacher to another, helpful tips to get you ready for summer! The end of the school year can be stressful. There is so much to do and so little time. But with a little planning you can easily get your classroom ready for summer with little to NO stress.

Make Lists. 
As you are cleaning out and purging make a list of the things you need to reorder, replace, or replenish over the summer. I also, because I am forgetful, make a list of things that I do not need or have plenty of. With technology and smart phones, you can make these lists on your phone and that way you'll always have them when you're out shopping over the summer. This will allow you to take advantage and stock up during the back to school sales. Having a list of what you have plenty of will help you avoid buying things you have a already have a healthy supply of.

Plan Ahead. 
The copier line is always so, so, so long right before school starts. It's no fun standing in the copier line with a million things to do thinking "I really should be in my room working". If you know there are some lessons or activities that you always do the first week, make copies NOW so they will be ready to go when you get back. No more waiting in line! Also, now is a great time to print back to school centers and activities that you need to cut and prep over the summer.

Remember this: You've worked hard all year long. You've taught, loved, and nurtured your students as if they were your own children. You've met standards, wrote lesson plans, held meetings, planned field trips and special events, and prepared an umpteen amount of report cards. And you've done it all with beauty, grace, and a {mostly} positive attitude! So give yourself a break. Relax and do not get overwhelmed. Plan ahead, get it done, and then leave it behind as you drive away to enjoy your summer. 

From one teacher to another, helpful tips to get you ready for summer! The end of the school year can be stressful. There is so much to do and so little time. But with a little planning you can easily get your classroom ready for summer with little to NO stress.

I hope these tips for packing up your classroom will help you have a smooth transition! Enjoy your summer!!! You've earned it! :)


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Easy End of the Year Gifts for Students {FREE Gift Tags}

Can you believe the end of the school year is right around the corner? There is always so much to do as the year unwinds. Assessments, report cards, planning, packing and purging, field trips, oh and you're still supposed to teach in there too! On top of all of that, I like to give my students a little something when they leave me for the summer. 

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

We are all busy, I get that! So I put together a few inexpensive and easy end of the year gifts for students. These ideas were all found in the Target Dollar Spot, so that's about $1 a kid. With the exception of the round bubble tag {sorry I wanted it to look like a bubble!!!}, the rest of these are easy prep. Just print, give a quick snip, and you're ready to go. Hopefully this post will help you cross one small thing off your to-do list! 

In no particular order, here's some inexpensive and easy end of the year gifts that you can put together in no time flat!

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

 First up is a set of mini erasers. Mini erasers are magical. Kids LOVE them {and teachers do too!}. So they make a perfect end of the year gift for students. You can use washi tape to adhere the tag, or tie a ribbon like I did. If you can't find the ice cream ones at Target, I included a generic gift tag in the download {which can be found at the bottom of this post} that can be used for any erasers. 

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

Another kid favorite, sidewalk chalk!! You can guarantee that I will be in the driveway this summer drawing right along side of the kids. And probably laying on stomach while I'm at it!! Hahaha! The labels are about the same size as the chalk containers {also found at Target} so I just used some clear tape to adhere the label to the container. 

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

Another oldie but goodie are sunglasses. You can leave them in the package and adhere the label to the plastic bag. 

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

Or you can take them out of the plastic, punch a hole in the corner, and tie a ribbon like in the picture above.

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

Check out these cutie patootie note pads. Is it okay to admit that I wanted to keep some of these for myself?!! For $1 you get a click pen and a little themed sticky note set. Not a bad deal and super appealing to kids! I've found them in four designs: donuts, popsicles, sharks, and hamburgers.

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

I made a generic gift tag to keep you from running to 18 different Targets to find a class set of shark post-it notes. You're welcome!!! Haha! :) 

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

 Here's an idea for bubble wands. This tag will work for any kind of bubbles. 

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

 This one might be one of my favorites. These are flashlights!! How cool is that?!? You can't really tell from the picture, but they have a long cord attached to them so students can wear them as a necklace. These come in four designs as well: hamburgers, pizza, donuts, and popsicles. You press the shape and the LED flashlight comes on. 

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

I left the tag on this one generic, again to save you from running around looking for class sets! The gift tags are the width of the cardboard packaging so I just stapled the tags on, over the cardboard.

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

And then last but not least is this bucket set with a shovel. This is great if you have some odd and ends that you want to send home. Maybe a book, a review packet and a packet of crayons, etc. I send home my June Morning Work as a summer review. This bucket and tag are pretty generic so you can use it as needed! 

Click on the picture below to download the gift tags.

Stop by and check out these fun ideas for inexpensive end of the year gifts for students. Gift ideas include mini erasers, bubbles, flashlights, sunglasses, and more. These end of the year gifts are perfect for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students. Click through to grab your FREE gift tags to make your own student gifts!

Thanks so much for reading about these easy end of the year gifts for students!