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4 Fast & Easy End-of-the-Year Ideas

Having FUN Cleaning Desks:

With shaving cream!  Writing our sight words and numbers too.

The desks got soooooo clean!
And it made the classroom smell fresher too.

Making a FUN Keepsake: 

Candles made out of your students' used crayons!
Those are our "Nature Prints" behind the crayon candles. Get the full directions by clicking HERE.

A New Use For Our Kindergarten Crayons-  We made candles out of our old kindergarten crayons.
Kids place broken, unwrapped crayons in the jar, place a birthday candle
in the center.  Away from children, spoon paraffin wax into the jars.

I used my Spa Paraffin Hand Treatment kit to melt the wax.
A plastic soup spoon worked great to pour the wax over the crayons.

You can download the poem that goes with these candles for FREE by clicking HERE.

A FUN Last Day Treat:

Our parent volunteers made these cute dolphins for our graduation treat:
Cut bananas, add two eyes with a Sharpie, and grapes!

A FUN gift From Your Teacher:

A penny for success & a kiss 'cause you'll be missed.
Just like Miss Bindergarten!

I hope your last day was (or will be) FUN!
Add your FUN ideas in the comment section.

See you all next month on June 30.
from KFUNdamentals   :)

10 Tips for Packing Up Your Classroom

Hello friends.  Heather from Learning with Mrs. Langley here. Summer is upon us!  Before you can kick back, refuel, and relax it's important to get your classroom packed up and organized so you aren't stressed about it this summer!  Here are 10 tips that help me get a fresh start to summer!  

1. Do what you can ahead of time! 

You can't put EVERYTHING away or your kiddos will go CRAZY!  Believe me I have tried it. Kindergarten students need order even in those last days.  Do your behind the scenes packing first. Clean out your desk drawers, organize your closet (or cabinets, or whatever you have for storage!) and get things in order so when you start putting things away you know where you put them. 

Do you have a checklist you need to complete before the last day to officially "check out"?  We have to fill out an inventory sheet, make a list of repairs that need to be done, and record our technology numbers as part of our check out system. This can all be done before the last day.  Save yourself some time on that last day and do it ahead of time.

2. Take Pictures

Do you have an area of the room that you LOVE that you have to pack up and you want to remember EXACTLY how you had it? Take a picture!

3. Purge!  

This one is hard for me.  I don't get rid of much!  The end of the year is a great time to take stock of what you really will use.  Have a box of 65 pine cones?  If you didn't use them this year you probably won't next year.  Although I had a box of 65 pine cones my mom brought me from Cali and I actually did find a use for scratch that, keep the pinecones! But get rid of all the other stuff you didn't use this year. If you have a friend in another grade level that can use it put it in their trusting hands.
Our campus PURGE pile.  Yes....I took a few things!

4. DON'T put away important tools! 

Keep a box that you will need when you start putting things back up.  I keep my stapler in there, scissors, tape, and all of my wall hanging accessories.  I use A LOT of those 3M plastic hooks so I keep them all in this little box with extra stickies to put them back up. 

5. Clean

I cleaned up the items that needed it as I packed up my book shelves.  Those lovely crate seats?  They get SUPER dirty throughout the year.  I wiped down all of my wobble stools too so they will be ready to just put out when I unpack.  Wipe out all of your bookshelves too.  It will save you time when it's time to head back. 

6. Get your kiddos involved

Wiping out book shelves, organizing book boxes, and recycling papers are great ways to get your students involved in the packing up process.  The last week of school I have students check out a book box during our reading time and their job is to enjoy the books, make sure they all belong in the book box, and then return the books that don't belong to the "lost" pile.  After a couple of days of this my library is back to first day of school order! 

7. Want a clean slate?  Take it ALL down!

I know this sounds crazy and I may regret this in August but I took EVERYTHING down this year.  I even removed my mammoth desk so I could have a clean slate after the custodians get done cleaning. I'm playing with the idea of moving a few things around so now if I need to I can start fresh.
Even my alphabet is down.  I can't wait to start redecorating.....later!

8. Cover your bookshelves

Whatever is left in your room cover with sheets.  We are required to do this so I keep a supply of old sheets in my room to cover stuff up.  It's way easier than butcher block paper and better for the environment.  Even better?  Old fitted sheets work great!
Now my dusting will pay off! Clean math bins when I get back in August. 

9. Don't take anything home! 

Seriously....unless you REALLY need it don't take it home.  Piles and piles will not help you relax and recharge this summer.  Of course there are a lot of things we do NEED but don't overdo it.  I'm a horrible example of this.  I have this huge bag sitting on my dining room floor that I'm ready to chuck because I can't even remember why I brought this all home! 
And why is there a cookie sheet in there? 

10. Walk. Away.....

Do it.  You worked hard all year.  As a fellow kindergarten teacher I know this is one of the toughest jobs out there.  We need to leave it all behind (if only for a couple of weeks) and rest.  Recharge. Reconnect.  Do what you need to do to get yourself ready for that next group.  We know that August/September will take ever bit of our energy so save it up now!  Leave it all behind and enjoy your break.  You earned it! 
Walk can do it!

Those are my tips friends! I hope you are enjoying the last days/weeks/months? of the year with your precious kindergarten friends.  It was REALLY hard to say goodbye to my group this year. They just make it so hard to say good-bye! Thanks for stopping by today and as always, happy teaching.


Olympic Field Day

Happy Saturday everyone! I am Jill from Chevron and Centers. We had field day last week and I would like to share some of our wonderful memories with you!
I love field day almost as much as my kinders do! They look forward to that magical day in May as soon as April rolls around. This year our AMAZING P.E. teachers as well as specials teachers planned an Olympic field day.
Each class is assigned a country. Our class got Austria. We did some research and found out a lot of cool facts about Austria! Did you know that Edward Hass invented the PEZ candy in 1928. My kinders didn't know what PEZ candy was so we had a taste test. Austria is known for its cakes and pastries. The Sound of Music was filmed in Austria!
We started our event with a parade of the countries! Our school is very large we have 850 students and we are only a K-2 school!! So half of our school does field day on Thursday and the other half on Friday. So the other classes sit out in the hallways and cheer for the parade. It is so much fun!!
My sweet kids getting ready!

Team America leading the parade! I love our specials teachers they are amazing and I couldn't imaging teaching without them!
The lighting of the torch. One of my sweet kinders had the honor!!!
We participated in several dances from different countries!
Our blurry congo line:)

Water relays are always a favorite. They love every minute of them!
Who doesn't love getting to soak your friends ha! I don't have any pictures of the squirt your teacher race but it was fun! The kids don't know that we also have a squirt bottle!!! Their faces are priceless when we fire back:)
I absolutely love these pictures of the long jump!

Next up is tug-of-war. Check out those game faces!!!

And to finish off the day the kiddos asked for selfies with me. How could you say no to those faces. I am going to miss these kiddos so very much! I have loved every minute of watching them grow and learn. They will be fabulous firsties and I am so very proud of them!
Thank you for stopping by the Kinder tribe to check out our field day festivities! Does your school have a field day? Please comment below and tell us all about it!!!

Organization: Tips for Wrapping Up the End of the Year

Hello everyone! It's Katie from Miss Kate's Desk. I am officially on summer break!  The last couple of weeks of school I did some things in the classroom to help my sanity for when I come back in August to get my room ready.

Here was my room on the last day of school with table bins cleared and some items off of bulletin boards.

Check puzzles, manipulatives, & games.
I try to get the students involved if I can.  The end of the year has lots of random assemblies and days where our schedule is a little funky.  On one of those days we go through our puzzles.  I assigned each couple of students a puzzle to put together and check that it has all of the pieces.  If it didn't, I either threw it away or saved it for a project.

The puzzles went back into the cabinet.  We also organized the other items inside.  We went through other games and manipulatives too.

Organize your classroom library.
There are many different stickers and labeling systems that teachers use for their classroom libraries.  Even if each book has a sticker on it to match a label, students will still get books in the wrong tubs.  I had a few volunteer students go through each tub to make sure the books inside had matching stickers and tubs.  This took maybe 20 minutes.  If I waited till August with no other help, it would take me double the time.

Go through old supplies.
I know this isn't always the case, but some years we have extra supplies after we pass out any that is being sent home with students.  This year our art teacher was looking for some pencil boxes.  For some reason I had 4 or 5 in my room that I put in a bag to give to her.  She also needed markers and we had some leftover with no names on the box.

I also plan to give to the office and some of our specials area our extra hand sanitizer since they do not get students bringing supplies to those areas.  We use it a LOT in the classroom but for some reason always have a ton left.

Find ways to save yourself a little bit of time when you return back to your classroom and pick some helpful students.  Go through and purge old supplies, games, books, etc to save you time and give you space!

End of the Year Parent Gift

Hi everyone!  It's Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive with some fun ideas for end of the year parent gifts!  At my school, I have a room mom who helps me with school events, such as our fall carnival and Christmas program.  My room mom also helps me organize the "after party" for the graduation. All of these things can be very stressful for the room mom.  She needs to be organized and have good communication skills with the rest of the parents. I always greatly appreciate the hard work that my room mom's put in, they definitely have a big impact on a successful school year!

I'm always on the lookout for good ideas for a room mom gift.  I have a previous post on my blog about a room mom gift that I gave a couple years ago where I found this adorable glass on Etsy.

I also recently found the new Etsy shop from The Ordinary to Extraordinary Classroom called PartyOwl the Time!  She has great items that work for both parent volunteers and faculty as well.  You get adorable tags that you can attach to a variety of treats.

This year, I decided that what I would want most if I were a room mom, was an Amazon gift card  : )  I created this little card that you can use and attach an Amazon gift card to.  Click on the picture for the free resource! One of the pages has room mom on it, and the second page is editable so that you can use it as you see fit!

I attached the card to a class picture that I had all of the students sign.  Hopefully this will be a nice memento for my room mom, in appreciation for all of her hard work this year!

Let me know if you guys have any other great parent gift ideas!

Teaching at the End of the Year

Hello teacher friends! This is Kelly from My Fabulous Class. Today, I am going to share some FUN teaching ideas to help you survive the last few weeks of school.
I try to maintain my classroom routine for as long as possible. I really feel it helps keep the kids STAY CALM if they know what to expect. My kids still do Literacy and Math Centers until the last week. Yes, they get interrupted by school musical and field days, but when we are in the room, we keep the routine.I did create a few extra fun games to share with you.

First up, Fly Swat – Missing Addends. You can get this game FREE in my store. I bought the fly swatters at the Dollar Tree. In a small group, lay out all of the flower cards. I made missing addend cards for making 5 and making 10. I put the fives on pink card stock and the tens on blue to easily differentiate. Flip over  a missing addend card. First student to swat the correct flower gets the point. Whoever has the most points at the end wins.
I made a similar game for CVC words. I put students in groups of four. Students take turns being the “word caller.” and the other students swat the correct word. You can grab this game FREE HERE. This game is great for a word work center.
At writing center, I just placed some stamps I found at Walmart and told students to make stories with them. They LOVED this simple activity. It kept students very engaged while I was completing my DRAs.
Another great math game were these sunglasses. I bought the sunglasses and stickers at Walmart. I placed different patterns on the stickers. Students wrote down the number equations. You can get the recording sheet FREE HERE.
Have you ever had your kids bowl to work on subtracting from ten? I LOVE this game…but it can get LOUD. I found this recording sheet at Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten.

Finally, I found these cute foam feet at the Dollar Tree. I wrote sight words and we played a version of musical chairs. I put the feet in a circle. When the music stopped, students had to read the word they were by. If they could read it, they got to keep it. If they couldn’t, they would sit down. This was so fun, I bought more feet to write letters on for next year.

I hope you found some great ideas to help you survive  teaching at the end of the year!

Kindergarten Round Up + a FREEBIE!

Hey everyone!! Emily here, from Carnes' Corner.  I'm so excited to be here with you!


For the second year in a row, my kindergarten team has hosted a "Kindergarten Round Up" for our incoming kindergartners.  We LOVE doing this, because it gives us an opportunity to meet the students who are going to be spending the year with us next year AND it gets the students excited about kindergarten!

I wanted to share some tips to make YOUR kindergarten round up a successful one!  Of course, we were so busy, I didn't get many pictures...I know; terrible blogger status...bare with me!

*I designed an invitation for us, and our principal emailed it out to all of our incoming families! They had two afternoons to chose from...of course, the second night was definitely busier than the first!  (I may even recommend dividing it, and assigning nights for parents.)

*We divided the kiddos in to three groups when they were with us, so to help with that, we used three different clip boards (each with different colors).  We use coordinating sharpies to write their name tags, so that when we took the kiddos to our rooms, we could just say "blue group come with me", etc.

*Our art department had an old barn left over from their art show, so we borrowed that and one of my team members made some precious cowboy photo props (think hat, sheriffs badge, etc.)
*This worked well for TWO things...we now have pictures with each of the kids so we remember who they are AND the parents had fun taking pictures of their kiddos. :)

*The parents stayed in the Multi-Purpose room with our AP and discussed all of the important topics, got a tour, etc.  This kept them busy while we had their kids, and allowed them to concentrate on all of the boring parent stuff!

*Like I said, we had the kids in three groups.  We rotated each group in 15 minutes segments (math assessment, letter assessment, bingo/behavior assessment).  I created one assessment sheet for each child, so that all of our info was together.  The kiddos just traveled with their papers:

Here's a sneak peek of what we had the children do on the sheets:

And the recording sheet the "behavior" team used...

To make your kindergarten round up go a bit more smoothly, I want each of you to grab the assessment packet for FREE!!  Just head over to my TpT store to download it!