Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Essential Oils in the Classroom

I was introduced to Doterra essential oils last fall when a friend made me a roller bottle blend of oils. I noticed a positive change in mood, attitude, and  well-being at home.
My daughters use an oil blend to calm down from a preschool-age meltdown. We use a confidence blend to calm our fears when we have to do something new or different. In addition to using oils for moods, we use oil blends to help relieve discomfort from headaches and allergies.  As a Doterra consultant, it is important for me to stay compliant. Oils can't prevent, cure, or treat diseases, but combined with a healthy lifestyle, they can soothe tense feelings, lift moods, and support healthy body functions. 

Our little roller bottles had such a positive effect on my family! I ordered diffusers for our bedrooms to use oils aromatically. 
Greenair Spa Vapor+, Oil Diffuser Advanced Wellnss Instant Healthful Mist Therapy
I ordered my diffusers from Amazon.

Shortly after starting using oils aromatically in the home, I ordered another diffuser for my classroom. I started using a protective oil blend called OnGuard in my room during the months of running noses, absences, and the flu going around.  Maybe it was a strange coincidence, but I never missed a day of school last year from being sick!  Students commented on how good the room smelled- a blend of cinnamon, orange, and clove. 

Although the protective oil blend smelled good and promoted immunity, I felt that I wanted to experiment with oils to create an atmosphere of focus, motivation, and calming. Last year's class had the largest number of students with alternate behavior plans due to hyperactivity and inattention that I have ever had.

I started diffusing a mix of wild orange, cedarwood, and a Doterra balance blend. Within a week, I noticed a decrease of talking out of turn, increased focus during independent practice, and an overall happier mood.  Some mornings I would forget to start the diffuser. Those mornings were usually a little noisier and less focused. Wow!  I am not claiming that the diffuser with the oils was a cure-all for misbehavior and inattention, but I definitely noticed a positive change in my class. I plan on using my diffuser again in the classroom when school starts!

I recently came across this article on the Doterra blog. A student did her own study on the effects of essential oils in the classroom. It's a good read!

Monday, July 4, 2016

First Grade Homework Packets

Last year I had the privilege of having my daughter in my kindergarten class! At first, I was asked if it would be weird, difficult to balance being mom and the teacher, and how my principal would allow it. I heard from other teachers who have taught their own children that it can be hard to balance not being too tough on your child while also not being to lenient. I found that having my daughter in my class was a great experience!  She was a great helper before and after school in my classroom. My husband was the main homework helper since I knew what she was doing during the school day; normally I would be the parent to help with homework, but it was a positive learning experience for my husband to sit down with her during homework time so he could see what we were doing in the classroom. The other day she was reading a book and my heart swelled with pride that she can read so well- and it was her teacher (ME!) who taught I her!  :)

Between the hectic summer schedule of riding and swimming lessons, weddings, and just allowing time for my kids to be kids on summer vacation, I put together a First Grade Monthly Homework Packet for her to practice the skills she'll learn NEXT MONTH in first grade. (4th of July always seems like the beginning of the end of summer.)
 First Grade Homework Packets by the Month- Common Core Aligned
 My Kindergarten Monthly Homework Packet was a big success in my classroom last year. Parents appreciated how the activities reinforced what their child was learning in school.  The weekly homework activities are standards-based skills in reading and math. Each week includes a reading activity that gets parents to talk about the book with their child while practicing comprehension skills and strategies.

The First Grade Monthly Homework Packet follows the same layout with weekly activities to reinforce the skills taught in first grade. I am planning on using the First Grade homework in kindergarten during the 2016-17 school year for differentiating homework. On the other hand, first grade teachers can use the kindergarten homework for differentiating in their classrooms! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

8 days away!

We have been in kindergarten for 92 days. That means 8 more days until 100th Day! My class is very excited to make it to this major milestone! We will dress like we're 100 years old and do lots of fun 100th Day activities.

In the past, a favorite activity was making cupcakes with 100 sprinkles. Click here for the freebie.


To keep the day moving and organized, I make 100th Day booklets with lots of fun activities.  Check it out in my TPT store! 
100 Days Smarter! 100th Day Activities

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Homework Packets and Back to School Sale

As I went for my evening run tonight, I thought about the first day of school- it's tomorrow! I'm looking forward to meeting the 24 kinders in my class. One of the 24 is my daughter, which makes tomorrow even more special! She is just as excited as I am to start kindergarten!  Then my thoughts moved to making homework packets for September (that's when I start sending home homework) which made me think of my Common Core Aligned Monthly Homework Packets. 

Kindergarten Homework Packets by the Month- Common Core Aligned

This has been one of my best selling products on TPT! I made it super easy- just run a month off back to back and staple! Easy peasy!  I send home the packet on Monday and collect it Friday. The homework is not too time consuming and really reinforces what we are learning in the classroom. The skills correlate with our standards-based report card. I also included skills such as tying shoes, saying address, phone number and birthday, and getting outer gear on.

I keep the monthly packet stapled together. It's just easier that way and you have less individual papers to keep track of!


Tomorrow is a one day TPT sale. Visit my store and stock up on any last minute products to get your year started off right! :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Back to School

I go back to school in two weeks. Back in June I told myself not to do anything school related until August 1. That lasted until mid-July. I was busy creating monthly homework packets and planning for the first few weeks of school. I'm looking forward to tomorrow- the TPT Back to School sale! I'll get the items on my wishlist in time for school to begin!
Kindergarten Homework Packets by the Month- Common Core Aligned
My Monthly Homework Packets have four activities per week, both academic (practicing math, reading, writing, and phonics skills we will work on at school) and non-academic (such as tying shoes, saying phone number and address).

Don't forget to use the promo code to get 28% off in my TPT store! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Christmas in July Dollar Sale!

I'm linking up with Indiana Bloggers for a Christmas in July Dollar Sale. School starts in a month (eek!) so it's not too early to start thinking about all those TPT items I have waiting in my shopping cart.  I love taking advantage of dollar deals!
I put several of my chevron items on sale for a dollar until July 21.
Chevron Daily Schedule Cards 
Chevron Alphabet:  D'Nealian 
Chevron Alphabet Cursive 
Chevron Alphabet 

Visit my TPT store for my other products.  Enjoy your last few weeks of summer vacation. To those of you who have started school already, I hope the year is going well for you! :)

Check out the fabulous $1 products! Thank you to Brenda for organizing this link up!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ABC countdown - Part 2

My class has been enjoying the ABC countdown to the last day of school! Here's what we did for D-J

D- Dance Party Day
We LOVE gonoodle.com. It has so many fun brain breaks! We leveled up our avatar during Dance Party Day. We had to have danced to at least 20 songs! 

If you're not familiar with Go Noodle, visit it and create a free account! Your kinders will love it!

E- Eric Carle Book Day
Eric Carle book day happened to be show and tell Tuesday. I was overwhelmed with the number of Eric Carle books that were brought in. And the variety!  We only had a few repeats! The class was eager to listen to all of them!

F-Favorite Day
I just had a show and tell day in which the students brought in their favorite things- lots of stuffed animals and toys were brought in this day! Their toy got to spend the day on their table as long as it didn't become a distraction!

G- Game Day
I set aside two fifteen minute breaks during the day to play board games from home. I had so much fun playing Don't Wake Dad! and Yatzee with my students!

H- Hat Day

This day ended up being very exciting!  The White Sox pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, came to visit and pass out White Sox tickets to the students at our school this day. (His mother had been a secretary at our school years ago, and I work in his hometown!) Lots of kids wore White Sox hats and apparel!

Image result for white sox

J- Joke Day
Today was joke day. The kids were cracking me up with the delivery of their jokes made up on the spot. My favorite:

Student: (as he looked out the window at the playground) Why does the playground play on itself?
Me: I don't know, why?
Student: Because it can't!!

Maybe you had to be there, but the huge smile on his face and his genuine belly laugh was priceless! 

Try a joke day with your class. Kindergarteners can be so silly!