July 31, 2015

Have You Tried Google Photos?

My county is going Google Classroom next year!
At a training this summer,
I heard of a NEW Google App called Google Photos!

I love using DROPBOX to take images I capture on my 
cell phone, iPad, or other devices and share them with others.
You can read all about that idea here...

 It has been a great way to engage parents in a weekly newsletter and
it makes planning with colleges so much easier.
I can also share images with everyone on my email adress wuickly...
So when I have to fill out my teaching evals,
I can import images as documentation so quick!

But my county has blocked Dropbox!
What is my back up plan????
I will be using Google Photos instead.

The best news is...
if you already have a Google email,
you already have access to Google Photos.

Check out this Desktop View.
This is the screen that popped up on my Google Drive Account.
I clicked the blue bar next to my yellow arrow 
and ADDED GOOGLE PHOTOS to my Drive.
One click.

Then you can see the Google Photos was added to the left side next to the blue arrow.
I have a TON TON TON on my google email, drive, forms, and photos,
and it isn't limitless...
But you can see under the red arrow
that I have still only used 20% of the storage they provided FOR FREE.

I won't lie.
I have to pay for extra DropBox storage.
{Well, did. I won't be anymore!}

I also downloaded this app on my cell phone.
That means all the photos I take on my cell phone can transfer over to this drive!

The purple arrow shows a photo that is on my cell phone but not transferred over to be shared.
The green arrow shows that it looks like when it is transferring over.
and the orange arrow show what it looks like when it is transferred over.

I made you a simple video you can see here!

July 28, 2015

How to Make a Classroom Banner

Create a Classroom banner

I have seen so many awesome classroom banners all over the place that I think are AMAZING.
But, I could never figure out how to get them to work for me. 

 Then I had an light bulb moment and figured it out!
This way be very basic, 
but I am assuming there are other people in the world 
who didn't know how to create a banner
 as well as those who are looking for more banner inspiration. 

I will be using letters and numbers I created, colored paper or card stock,
 glue, a hole punch, scissors, and string.
supplies to build a banner

First, print out or make the letters you desire. 
Some people use circles, banners, triangles, or other shapes.
I chose rectangles because they are easy to cut and create a background.
This sign is going to say "First Day of K" for the background of the first day of school.
First Day of K Sign

  I have found that when you print letters, sometimes the feeder doesn't align perfectly.
Therefore, I chose to trim the edges. I do think it would look awesome with some of a white border.
Sharing Kindergarten shares how to make a banner

Then I added small dots of regular glue to the covers of the back side.
I didn't want to use rubber cement glue 
but I didn't think the heating systems at school who play nicely with that glue type.
making a classroom banner by following these steps

 Next, I aline the letter with the paper in the center.
classroom banners how to

 I continued on with this process, giving each letter a different color background in a pattern.
First Day of K classroom banner

 I continue with this project by hole punching the corners an equal distance from each side. 

 I wanted the hole punch to be as similar on each as possible.

Then, I cut small pieces of white string into smaller pieces.
You can use ribbon or other materials.
I had white string and didn't need to buy any additional materials. 
I also assumed most of you would have white string in their classrooms.
classroom banner creation step by step

I tied each of the two letters together.
I made sure I kept the same letters going over for each banner.
See how the orange goes over the yellow?
Then the red goes over the red?

 I tie the string at the top.
It won't show every much since my walls are white and these will be hung high.
You can always tie these in the back to hide more of the string.
classroom banner creation step by step

Now the sign in connected.
Sharing Kindergarten shows you how to make a banner

 You can also decide if you want this banner to be one row, 
or two.
classroom banner example from Sharing Kindergarten

One of the things I love is how you can connect the parts you want to
and then easily take them off as needed.
classroom banner tips from Sharing Kindergarten

 Pretty simple right?
Well, I had to step it up a little bit.
So I ran out to my office supply store and printed all these letters!
Use these letters to make a classroom banner
{It was a LOT of ink so I felt the 70 some cents a print was well worth the price for their ink!}

This set was slightly different because it features NEON colors.
This is outside my comfort zone since I always use primary colors.
Letters to make an awesome banner for you classroom

 And here is an example of the NEON print sign that was made the exact same way!
I used this Astrobright Neon pack of paper to match my colors.
CREATE a classroom banner

I use the same white string on each side of the banner, equally.
Then I hang it from the drop ceiling frame.
You can hang these in many other like hot gluing the top pieces,
use command hooks, or use ceiling hangers.

For my First Day of K sign,
I am using adhesive button magnets to attach it to a white board.

I hope this has helped you to make a banner for your own classroom!
I can't wait to show you what I am doing with my banners!


July 24, 2015

Fun Friday Linky

I like to think my classroom is always a place where fun and learning meet.
My TA will most likely tell you the same thing.
My custodians will tell you we are messy and creative.
My Administration will tell you we always have something up our sleeves.
And my team will tell you we like to think outside the box.
So I am linking up to the FL post all about FUN activities for our classroom! 
And since school is coming soon,
I tried to select activities we do in the beginning of the school year.

 You can convince any kinder to do something if you make it into a game.
The ability to make anything into a game is my only super power!

Here are my friends practicing sight words by playing memory as one of our Sight Word Stations.

 We turn our pocket chart into a patterning game using old border strips and shape cut outs.
***This is a freebie printable you can grab here***

We can practice making shapes and forming graphs my competing this roll and graph activity.

 And after reading a book, such as If You Take a Mouse to School,
we play a reading comprehension game to review all our reading skills.

All of these are fun and yet meaningful.

Food just makes any day at school better.
Here we are making 3 dimensional shapes using toothpicks and marshmellows.
My students always go better when they are given the actual shape they are creating in front of them.
Here is another table working hard!

We also form shapes using pull and peel licorice. 
I love this activity because it make my little ones thing about equal and not equal sides.
And nibbling must occur to create these shapes which is pure enjoyment.
 When we read, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake,
we make cupcakes!
 We read the package and mix the ingrediants and make cupcakes.
You would be shocked with how many students don't bake at home. 
Here are more images of how we use one book to encourage reading fun!

 Tie in their love of literacy.
Pick amazing books that allow them to branch into skill building while enjoying a book. 
We always start the school year with Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Here is my group making color words using similar Brown Bear images.
 And we create patterns with the colors and animals from the book too.
 As well as practice out number recognition, color words, 
and building those hand muscles with actual coloring.

 Try something you have never tried!
Tell your class this is new for you.
Ask them if you would test it out with you.

And guess what?
Sometimes it doesn't work.
That is when you teach them how to recover from a failure the right way.

This can happen with technology.
When I first started using QR Codes,
 I had difficulty making them work 
for my little ones.
Once I failed at it a few times and got their feedback,
I learned what does work!
And now we use QR Codes all the time! 
Get them moving and grooving.
If they sit too long, even if they are quiet, they might not be learning.

Look into brain breaks.


July 21, 2015

Tell Us About You Tuesday

Hi guys!
I am here to tell you guys about me for this party of our weekly linky party.

But I have to tell you,
I am not even remotely interesting.
I am that friend who thinks she is funny even though she really isn't.
That is me.

If you have ever seen me present, you know I am JUST ME.
I am so blessed because I get to live my dream each and every day.
I am a wife, mommy, and teacher.  

My name is Mary.
I have been married to #hothubby for 12 years.
I have 2 daughters who I refer to as S and E.
I have been teaching for 10 years.
I have been blogging for 4 years.

Fun facts about me.
1. I almost never wear shorts. I get cold so easy so I prefer pants.

2. I always wear my robe and slippers at home.
Over my clothes. I started when the girls were babies to keep a layer of clothes for spit up,
but now I just prefer it.

3. Hubs loves to run. He runs marathons.
Like... a lot of running.

 4. We have annual passes to Disney.
Prob because Hubs runs their races.
Prob because we love to go.

5. I am changing schools. And grades. And I am scared.

6. Hubs and I met on July 10 and got married on July 12 the following year.
It was quick. We knew we wanted to be together.
And that was that.

7. I hate shopping and I don't buy my own clothes.
So if StitchFix doesn't send it to me, hubs buys all my clothes.