Bunny Baskets

Happy Easter!! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful day with your family!

This is just a quick post to share the "Bunny Baskets" we made this year in our classroom. These are so easy and cute!

Step 1: Ask for washed out, gallon milk jugs with the lid OFF. These can get soooo stinky if they have not been washed out and the lid is still on... Believe me, I have smelled my share over the years...Ewwwwww!

Step 2: Cut the front of the milk jug to make a space for the grass and candy. The jug has lines for you to use as a cutting guide.

Step 3. Have the students color and cut out the bunny pieces. We let them color however they want! We tell them that these are not real bunnies, so they can color them how they want. It can be interesting to see what they come up with, but they love it!

Step 4. Hot glue the bunny face to the top of the jug.

Step 5. Hot glue the feet to the bottom of the jug.

Step 6: Hot glue the paws to the sides of the jug.

Step 7. Let the students choose if they want a bow tie or a bow in the bunny's hair. Then, hot glue the bow.

Step 8. Hot glue a cotton ball ("tail") to the back of the jug.

Step 9. Add grass and candy.

I am so sorry I cannot share the copies of the the bunnies, but I have had them for 14 years and I don't know where they came from, originally. There are so many different pictures/copies of bunnies out there, I know these "Bunny Baskets" can easily be adjusted with your cute copies! 

I just wanted to shared another way to make a "Bunny Basket." Maybe this will make its way into your classroom, too! We love them! :)
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High/Low Linky Party

I am trying out my first Linky Party where I join in and write about the Linky! :)

Katie from Teacher to the Core has a High/Low linky each month and I am excited to join in! Katie was so sweet to me when I commented on her blog about a Southern California Meet-Up...she seems so, so nice! 



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HIgh (2)

So, this may seem a little bit like a Low, but it truly is a High. Last year at this time, my Sam (a 12 1/2 year old lab mix) passed away from bone cancer. :( He was such a wonderful dog and I miss him so much!

My Sammers when he was about 3 or 4...This is my favorite picture of him! So handsome!



Since losing Sam, I have worried so much about my Molly (a 13 1/2 year old lab mix). I took her to the vet last week, worried about some lumps I could feel. And, the vet determined that they are just BENIGN fatty tumors! Yay! No worries! She is still on meds for her "old age" aches, but she got a clean bill of health! The relief was wonderful!!! I have had her since she was 8 weeks old, and she is my Love.

My Molly (Mama) laying on her favorite spot...the couch!!
Molly enjoying the lake last summer in Idaho!
My newest dogs...Millie and Petunia (rescues) have put a little spring in Molly's step! They keep us both busy and very entertained!!

Millie (and you can see a bit of Molly) enjoying the sand!
Isn't Petunia just the cutest little thing?! The rescue named her Petunia and I kept it! She is a cutie petutie!!
See, I told you Molly loved the couch! So do Millie and Petunia!!
These three keep me busy and I just adore them! I may have rescued Millie and Petunia, but they have helped my Molly after her buddy, Sam passed. They have helped me, too! 

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My Low is so hard! I have taught Kindergarten for the past two years with my partner teacher, Nichole. I teach the AM class and she teaches the PM class. We started teaching together in 2006, both teaching 2nd grade...It was her first year of teaching and my 10th. We were so excited when we were able to move to Kindergarten and teach together, in the same classroom! We have learned so much from each other and have developed a great friendship!

Nichole has a little one at home and has decided to go part-time next year. She found out, this month, that she will be transferring to a different school so she can Job-Share. I am so happy for her and her family, but I am so bummed that we won't be teaching together. :(

I have also put in for a transfer, so hopefully we will teach together again, someday. Here's to hoping and praying. A.Lot. And to more retirements! LOL!

I will miss teaching, brainstorming, laughing, crying, being silly, dancing, and working our little tails off together! So much!!
Celebrating Dr. Seuss' Birthday! Gotta LOVE pajama day!!
Check out Teacher to the Core's High/Low Linky Party to read more Highs/Lows for the month of March!





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DIY For the Classroom

Part of being a teacher, is being creative...or at least trying to be creative! I love DIY projects for the classroom...sometimes too much! Do you ever have so many great ideas on your TO DO List that you think, "Will I ever get to them all?!" I really don't know if I ever will, especially since discovering Pinterest! Wowie Wow Wow! There are some AWESOME DIY ideas floating around! Here are a few of mine!

CANS and CONTAINERS:

I love saving cans! I used to cover all of my cans and containers for the classroom using cutesie contact paper. Then, I discovered Mod Podge! Oh.My.Goodness. My cans have taken on a whole new life! Cans+Mod Podge+ Scrapbook Paper=DIY CUTENESS! I made these cans (except the pencil can, that's contact paper) using pirate scrapbook paper! LOVE!

Step 1: Wash out empty veggie, bean, or soup cans. I also use washed out sour cream containers and doggie treat containers (btw, those are the best doggie treats ever!! They are from Costco!).

 Step 2: Cut scrapbook paper to fit can or container.

Step 3: "Paint" Mod Podge onto the can or container.

Step 4: Carefully wrap the paper onto the can or container.

Step 5: "Paint" the paper, using the Mod Podge, smoothing out the paper when you can.

Step 6: Let dry! It always looks better/shinier after it dries! 

It is definitely easier to create this using a can. When I have made it using sour cream containers, the paper tends to wrinkle, but I still love it! Try it both ways and see which one you like best!

I use these containers to hold pencils, pens, markers, games, counters, cut up letters, flashcards--the options are endless! Plus, they look so cute in the classroom!


Game containers, made with contact paper

CRATES:
These crates are all over the blogs and Pinterest! I made these and the students love them! We have a Pirate Theme in our classroom and this material was perfect for our theme!!


Have you made "crate chairs" for your classroom yet? You should! They are so fun!! :)

CUBBY CURTAINS:
We have a WALLLLLLLLLL of cubbies in our classroom! We use them to hold manipulatives, games, whiteboards, storage, etc. This wall of "stuff" can look overwhelming. So, we created "cubby curtains" for our classroom. We put velcro on the curtains and the cubbies. Now, we can cover this wall! When we need access, we just lift the curtains. Love them!

"Cubby Curtains"


What DIY projects have you made for your classroom? What do you want to make? I'd LOVE to add your favorites to my ever growing DIY TO DO List! LOL! :)
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Blending and Reading New Words

I love when my little ones start to put together words. They are so excited (and so am I!!) when they start to realize that the sounds they are blending, are making words. The excitement on their little faces is just precious! They are not just saying the sounds, they are blending...correctly! You can truly see that light bulb moment and it is contagious!

I love using my Making My New Words activity to foster this beautiful growth! This activity focuses on beginning sounds, medial, and ending sounds. It's perfect for differentiating, during small group instruction. Once the students are beginning to master blending, I also use this activity during Daily 5. 


Making My New Words
When using the Making My New Words activity, I like to begin with beginning sounds, so the students can see the word families they are creating. After creating these new cvc and nonsense words, we focus on fluency when reading the words. Once the students have mastered this skill, I move to the ending sounds, and finally the medial sound.


I start with teaching the students to say each sound in the word, then blending the word. When the student has mastered this skill, we focus on reading the word without sounding it out. The students LOVE when they reach this point. They love to read these words, and they are so excited when we point to them and say, "You're a reader!"

Check out Making My New Words in my TpT store. It's one of my very favorite activities to create new readers!
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