Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Gift of 17

Two posts in one week?!?!  OMGoodness! Who is this blogger anyway???
So my Kindergarten teaching buddies and I have been on the "hunt" for an idea to replace the traditional gift exchange for our Holiday Party, AND I think we've found it!  "The Gift of 18" (or 19, 20, 21...).  I'm super excited about it and willing to give it a try.  I'm not sure where this idea originated, but I got it from my little guys Kindergarten teacher from last year! 
Thank you Mrs. Blankenship!
"The Gift of 17"
Here’s how it works:
Each family that chooses to participate can bring in 18 (one for each child in our class plus one in case we a new child moves in) similar items wrapped in ONE package.  Some ideas include; pencils, gloves, pens, magnets, play dough, bubble stuff, stickers, rubber stamps, books, fun pads, candy canes, cookie cutters, etc...
Families may choose to give one gift to the whole class such as a board game, book, playground ball, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, scented markers, craft items, etc. that everyone in the class can enjoy for the rest of the year.
Packages should be labeled “To my class” from "Child’s name.”
Children will open his or her own gift and present it to the class.
 No one is required to participate.

No one will be left out.

There is no spending limit either high or low.
It is my hope that all of the children will leave for the holidays feeling good about giving and feeling fairly treated.
I have a letter typed up to send home to my students' parents explaining  "The Gift of 17".  It is on my computer at school. :(  I will try and post a PDF version of it next week.
Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter Holiday Party & The Little Red Hen [Makes a Pizza]

So, I haven't posted since July...yes, you read right...JULY.  I have done a pretty good job of keeping up with everyone and the GREAT ideas everyone is sharing...THANK YOU! :)

Winter Holiday Party Ideas

My kindergarten teacher buddies and I were brainstorming ideas today for our Winter Holiday Party.  We've done the gift exchange where students bring a wrapped $3-$5 gift (if you've done this before, I'm sure you know the pros and cons) and we'd really like to get away from it if  possible.  We've also tried a book exchange and an ornament exchange.  We're looking for NEW ideas!!!  If you have any ideas to share (whether for gift giving, activities, or games) we'd love to hear them! 

The Little Red Hen [Make a Pizza]

I am currently teaching an after school enrichment class, "Book Cooks & More".  This week our book we read The Little Red Hen [Makes a Pizza]
(Given to me last July during the Christmas in July Book & Activity Exchange. Thank you Cristy Wagner!)
If you haven't read it, you need to...SO CUTE!

We compared and contrasted it w/the traditional story, completed a story map, made biscuit pizzas,


 and made these cute Little Red Hen chef hats.


This super cute (sideways *sorry*) hat was a PINspiration!  I'm having trouble locating the origin of the original pic, so here's the model I made.  If the idea is your's, PLEASE speak up. only took 4 months, but my post is complete!  Again, please share any Holiday Party ideas you have.  We're looking to "spice" ours up a bit!  Thanks

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Talk Point Ideas NEEDED...Pretty Please

<br><i>Ideal for simple activity instructions, daily reminders, word or sound practice and more!</i><br><br>

So, to my surprise, I had a set of these in my classroom supplies when I opened my box from School Specialty...

I was a tad excited! 

We were told to order the "bare minimum" but I put a couple of  "wish list" items on there (never hurst, right???) AND... Wah-La!  I immediately took a picture and tm'd my buddy across the hall.  We had just been looking/talking/discussing these at the MO Kindergarten Conference.

Here's my request bloggers...I need some ideas of how to use them w/my lil' love muffins!  I know, in past posts, that some of you had commented on how you use (or would use) them.  I'd LOVE to read through some of those again and hear new ways everyone is using them.   

Saturday, July 28, 2012

While blogstalking...

While I haven't been doing a very good job of keeping up w/my blog, that doesn't mean that I haven't been doing my share of "stalking"!  Here are a few ideas I've come across in the last couple of weeks that I plan on incorporating this year.  Thanks to ALL of the awesome teacher bloggers that have inspired me to BEGIN thinking about that first day!

Great ideas for Writing!

SOMETIMES my kiddos have a hard time thinking of something to write. I will change it up a bit and give them an option of what to write about.
Monday ~ Write about the weekend ~ Who they played with ~ What they ate for dinner
Tuesday ~ Sentence Starter ~ If I was a raindrop I would.. ~ I like to eat..
Wednesday ~ Writing Prompt ~ Do you like birthday cake? Why? Describe your bedroom.
Thursday ~ Shadow Writing
Friday ~ Free Write 

**I plan to type these up and post in my writing area.**

Lining Up Dots

I think I'm going to incorporate Mrs. Maya's "lining up dots" into my lining up routine this year.  My love muffins last year had a difficult time with this.  I think the dots (and LOTS of practice) may be just what we need to make this routine a little less stressful on ALL of us!

Did It Dots!

Lovin' the "Did it Dots"! Mrs. Shelton gave students "dots" when then followed her 5 sentence writing rules...1. Neat Work  2. Finger Spaces  3. Capitals  4. Punctuation  5. Word Wall.

I picked up a few sets of "Did it Dots" at Wal-Mart for $.88 each!!!

Crate Bench & Eraser Glove

I really like the idea of using crates to create a bench w/storage!  I mean, who can't use a little more seating AND some storage!  I plan to creat a bench to use in my carpet/group area.  Not sure what I plan to store in them yet, but I'm sure I'll be able to find something!

The black crates below will become a bench...I look forward to seeing the finished product and LOVE the idea!!! 

I haven't seen the finished bench seat, but here is a pic of her her finished "pee resistant" crate seats.  I plan to redo my bucket seats, and why not make them "pee resistant"?!?!

 Love this idea too...the green "dusting" gloves.  She plans to allow her board cleaner to use them!  These were purchased at the Dollar Tree guess it, $1.00.  I think this would make "cleaning" the white board so much more fun!

Again, a BIG thank you to ALL of the teacher bloggers mentioned above and the rest of you out there.  These were just a few of my favorite ideas...keep them coming!  I'm SLOWLY getting inspired and motivated to get back into my classroom and prepare for my new love muffins! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tell Me More, Tell Me More!

1. My name is Randee Renee.
 When my parents were discussing names, my mom wanted to name me Annie Jo. Thankfully my dad didn't like it (I just don't think I would've made a very good Annie, although I do have the curly hair, hmmm...).  So they settled Randee (Randee after my dad's BF, Randy).  The Renee was after my aunt. I haven't always liked my name...but I've grown to love it!

2. I'm the oldest of three children...36 years old! My brothers are going to kill me, but they were so cute!  They'll probably NEVER see this anyway!!!

Brad and Chuck

3.  I'm an Auntie and I LOVE it!  My brothers (who no longer look like this) have given me the two sisters that I never had, one nephew (Barrett) and two neices (Izzy and Ruthie)!!!

4. I have three FABulous men in my boyfriend Ray and his two boys!

 5. I love hanging out w/my boys during the Summer (and VERY lucky that I get to spend so much time w/them)! We spend a lot of time at creeks, on rivers and lakes, and at the pool. They LOVE to  snorkel and look at all of the critters.
And me...
I'll be on the bank (boat deck or lounge chair) catching a little sun while the boys do their thing. 
I did climb and jump off the tree you see in the top left of this picture!

6. I have ALWAYS loved to dance...still do!

7. My LOVE for dancing and need to get off of the couch, let me to Zumba Fitness!  I'm totally addicted!! I've been instructing for 2 years and will be attending my 1st convention in August. A little nervous because it takes place 2 weeks before school starts!!!!

This is my friend Becky and I and the Gin and Tonic tour in K.C.  Believe it or not, I believe that is Becky bent over in the dance picture of  me above!  We've been dancing buds for over 25 years...CrAzY!!!

8. In addition to Zumba Fitness, I'm addicted to McDonald's Sweet Tea!  I swear it's "laced" w/something!!!

9. So I haven't talked school yet...2012-2013 will be my 14th year in the education.  I've taught at the same, small, rural school and couldn't even dream of going elsewhere!  We have an awesome staff, students, and parents!  I've taught grades K-4 (not in that order).  Some moves were made by choice, others were because of classroom numbers (#'s fluctuate from year to year).  This will be my 4th year in Kindergarten and I still LOVE it and am very EXCITED about my team!  I hold a Master's Degree in Education (no specialty...kinda regret that decision now) and earned National Board Certification in 2009.

10.  If I could have any other job, I think I would want to be a secretary (not a school one)!  One of the many things I LOVE about summer is lunches w/my girlies!  An hour off in the middle of the day is just perfect!  In addition...I also LOVE to talk on the phone, take notes, proofread, and organize meetings and events.

Want to know some more?!?!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...

 Back to School?!?!

It's been a LONG while bloggy buddies!!!  I haven't totally left you all...I've been doing an OK job of keeping up w/you all by stalking your blogs.  Many of you have been BUSY!!!!  Thank you for all of the ideas and freebies.  Would you believe that I have tried to post something FIVE times?!?!  I have had FIVE drafts.  I considered posting them, but deleted them instead. 

Anywho...I can't believe it is that time of year already!!!  I went to the local Wal-Mart yesterday and to my dismay there were Back to School "signs" everywhere I turned!  (No, this was not my first trip to WM, but the first time I let my cart enter the school supply aisle.)  I guess it's time to start preparing myself (and the boys) for school mode...we have soooo enjoyed sleeping in, going to the pool, creek or river, ballgames, and lounging! Just living up the carefree SUMMER lifestyle! :)  I hate to see it end.

Next week (Monday and Tuesday) I will be going to the Missouri Conference for Kindergarten Teachers in Osage Beach, MO.  It's not Vegas, but usually gets me thinking BACK TO SCHOOL!  I'm excited about aquiring lots of new ideas and just getting away w/my two awesome teaching buddies.  I'm sure we'll have a great time...we always do! ;)

I have nothing of my own to share w/you, but found a Back to School Scavenger Hunt that I will be giving my Kindergarten Love Muffins at Open House. 
Stop by Little Warriors and pick one up for's a FREEBIE!  Make sure you tell Mrs. Mense THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Just checked out my blog and WHEW! It's been 2 months since I've posted anything. Now please don't judge, but I've got FOUR, yes four, (AND then there are the TWO before those) drafts saved! I really need to finish those up, but they're a little, make that A LOT out dated!!! Anywho, on to my post...

Valentine's Day
The last "organized" holiday party of the year. Kind of makes me tear up a little knowing the year is quickly approaching!!! The end of third quarter is just around the bend, then it's the race to the last day of school. Did I really just say it? "THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL" in no time I'm goin to be sending my lil' love muffins into the big first grade world!!! EEEK! There is sooo much left to accomplish!

Well, as much as I'd like to be spending the day w/ my LOVE muffins, I'll be at home enjoying my SECOND snow day (of the year AND in a row)!!!  There will be plenty of time to party tomorrow.  I'm actually pretty excited to see what the families came up with for their February Family Projects...Valentine Containers!  But for today, I'll be enjoying the snow w/two super, excited boys! Can't wait to suit up and hit the white stuff!  Just wish dad's job had snow days!!!  In the words of the six year old, "Stinks to be dad!" :(

Yesterday, I spent my first snow day super busy and for some reason, uber motiviated (soooo unlike me) as I prepared for this day of love, cards, hearts, roses, and chocolate...

1. I finished up my Valentine's for my love muffins.

Thank you Pinterest!

2. I created my own Valentine Box
(I've used the same "container" for 12 years...NO that's not a type-o!)

Again inspired by Pinterest!

3. I made some delicious chocolate treats for my boys!

First, breakfast (Pinterest...YES I'm addicted) Cinnamon Rolls cooked on the waffle iron!

Second, chocolate covered strawberries and craisins (if you haven't tried the craisins, YOU MUST).

4. AND finally and hour of Zumba!  I had two ladies were able to get out in the white stuff and sweat.  My thanks to Monica and Hanna!  They'll probably NEVER read this, but thanks ladies...I needed that!  If you've NEVER tried Zumba Fintness...YOU MUST!  It is so much fun and a GREAT workout! WON'T even realize you've worked out.  Well, the sweat and loss of breath might be a clue, but it truly is more of a PARTY than a work out!  Trust MUST at least give it a try!
 Whew!  SUPER long post, but I had a LOT to say...remember it's been a while.  I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day and that you get to spend it with those you LOVE most! 
I know I'm going to!