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Spice up your Library Station!

Happy Monday :)

I am beginning to smell the sweet aroma of Spring Break... yes folks... she is less than two weeks away now!

The past few weeks have been nothing short of crazy and packed full of traveling, working, creating, mom-life, wife-life, presenting, terminal illness in the family, and a little sleep here and there.

Last week I traveled down to Austin, Texas... where over 800 sweet Pre-K/Kindergarten teachers were waiting to attend the Texas PreK and Texas Kindergarten Conference with SDE.

This time was SUPER fun... because my teaching buddy came with me!  Four hours in a car with another voice other than my own belting out country songs... was a nice change!

A sweet attendee snapped this picture of one of my sessions.... (Lori Johnson @ JungleInKinder)

And.... thank goodness my buddy Amanda came with me... cause geez..... I had to get my make & takes ready (for over 200 sweet teachers!)

I owe her BIG!

We also got to meet these SWEET and FABULOUS ladies....  who probably do not need any introduction....

So.... one of my sessions was all about managing groups and one of the sweet teachers in that session and I got to talking about our library stations...

Let's face it... the library station can be scary!  

Our students are often left by themselves with a book (where the majority of the time they are quickly flipping through pages and doing anything BUT reading....)

I was sharing some of my activities and decided to put them into a little pack for YOU!

I wanted to have something for my students to actually do and dive into the text while engaged in their library station!

Here are the five sheets that you will find:

You can click HERE to grab these for FREE!

Save on paper and slip these into dry-erase sleeves and re-use daily!

Yes.... it's the week of the famous cat and other famous stories by the Doc himself!

Hopefully you can use these printables to spice up your library station and allow for more engagement!  

Have a great week :)

Jessica Travis
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I HEART Valentines Day!

Yep... it was THAT day!

The last school day before Valentines day which means an abundance of candy, parents and more candy, chocolate hearts and sweet love notes, and more candy!

You guessed it... the day of the almighty Valentines class party!

While we only have a 30-minute party... the entire day is pretty much covered in pink and red along with some pretty fun and crafty activities!  Let's face it... the kids can ONLY think about when the party begins... when they can eat candy that they have been so eagerly spying in their sacks all week... so trying to do the usual lesson plan is OUT of the question!  Don't get me wrong... learning still takes place... it's all just in the form of Valentines Day!

Today started off reviewing the words on our word wall ... in the form of a hat! We definitely LOVE our sight words and are always working with them each and every day... and making a hat is the icing on the cake!

Each student received FOUR hearts and they had to identify and read four words on the word wall with at least three letters!  They added the words to their hat and away we went!

You can grab your free template by clicking on the picture above!

The past few years I always stock up on little conversation hearts around this time of year for MATH!  

Making 10 is the perfect skill for my kinders right now which made this that much more FUN!

We started off with these LIFE size conversation hearts!  Just shake and pour!

The hearts that land "words-up" represent the first number and the hearts that are words down represent the second part in making 10.

After our life-size activity... the students went on to their own hearts and making 10 activity!

You will need:

Let's Make 10 recording sheet (click here)
Conversation hearts

For every year that I have done this.... it gets more fun each and every year!

After lunch... it was time.  

Our party started off with minute-to-win-it games!

Game 1:
Give students candy hearts and give them 1 minute to stack as many as they can.  Goal is to get the highest stack!

Game 2;

Have a heart on paper.  Students need to put the heart behind their backs and attempt to tear it out on the lines!  (no scissors!)  These definitely turned out interesting!  HA!

I also got to slip over to Jaxon's party where they were doing a similar version of the stacking game;

They were using chopsticks!  Their first game was to get as many hearts into the cup within 1 minute (or 30 seconds depending on the grade level!)
They then had to stack them with the chopsticks!

This kindergarten teacher immediately thought... ahhh.... workin' on those FINE MOTOR SKILLS!

So now it's a three day weekend... coming off of the sugar high.... and heading out to celebrate Jaxon's birthday (from last month!) all day tomorrow!

While you may not be able to use these Valentines activities this year... hopefully you can save and keep for next time!

Until then...

Have a Happy Valentine's Day weekend!

Jessica Travis
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Cause & Effect (with freebie!)

Happy Hump Day sweet friends!

This week has definitely been packed full of activities (and it's only half way over!)

Yesterday was piled high with Groundhog day activities and Friday we will celebrate the BIG 100th day of school!  (and it sure has flown by!)

Today was all about Cause & Effect (Kindergarten Style!)  You know... where students to get to hear a new objective for the VERY first time... never hearing it before!  (LOVE these moments!)

I definitely think of Cause & Effect as a difficult concept (depending on how it is taught!)... so I knew I wanted something that would help them grasp this new concept with ease :)

Most of us have heard of (and even read!) "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"... and there is even a movie now... right?!

This book was *perfect* to introduce Cause and Effect because we focused on the ONE main effect of the entire book.... this poor guy was definitely having a rotten day!

The best part.... there were enough "causes" in the story for EVERY single student to share something from the book that would create a cause for the effect of having a bad day!

Having multiple cause and effects within a text can be a *tad* confusing for our younger kiddos!  This book is PERFECT because you only have to focus one ONE effect and all of the causes relate to it :)

We created this little chart to help us get started:

For the last few years (even in first grade!) I have always taught Cause & Effect backwards.....  The effect happened beCAUSE of-----.  Yes.... use beCAUSE (so much easier to explain!)

Here is the entire chart:

To help my kiddos relate (gotta make those connections!).... I created (and by create... I mean I drew last minute) this little Alexander craft for my students to share their own personal bad day! (Using cause and effect of course!)

Again... backwards :)  

Write the effect first and then the cause!  

We color coded to help us identify (and yes... I definitely assisted with this!)

I can't wait to show you their personal bad days tomorrow!!

You can grab this craftivity for FREE by clicking HERE or on the picture below :)

Hope you are having a GREAT week....

Jessica Travis
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