Friday, March 31, 2017

Testing Signs - Free Printables!

Testing season is here! While it is definitely not our favorite time in the world of education, we understand it is a necessary evil tool to measure our students' success...or something like that.

I've got a couple of "testing" sign freebies for you today! While they won't make testing any less monotonous (anyone else resorted to counting ceiling tiles in the classroom?) they will at least be cute hanging on your door. And who doesn't need a little freebie to cheer up their life in this final push through the rest of the school year?

First, a "Testing" sign in my most popular classroom decor theme.

Free Printable "Testing" Sign | Apples to Applique

Download yours here! (The downloads have much better resolution than these pictures!)

Second, since so many of us are limited to black and white printers at school, a "Testing" sign in a fun black and white theme.

Free Printable "Testing" Sign | Apples to Applique

Get your copy here!

May your season of testing be short, and your students' scores high!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sky and Weather Activities for Pre-K

*This post contains affiliate links; I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

We are in the middle of a unit on sky and weather. This unit was not initially not my favorite. It is so much easier to get Pre-K kids engaged in a unit on, say, wild animals. Something about animals that have ferocious teeth gets 4-year-olds excited. The more dangerous it is, the more they want to learn about it. It's a little hard to garner that same excitement when talking about clouds.

Sky and Weather Activities for Pre-K | Apples to Applique

The last few years, I've been working on gathering some resources and adding some activities to flesh out our weather unit, and it's been going better.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Egg Matching and Pattern Activities

I'm excited to introduce this little activity to my students when we get back from spring break! For whatever reason, they love playing with Easter eggs!

Easter Egg Matching and Pattern Activities | Apples to Applique
Get yours here in my TPT store!

I saw the original idea on Facebook, but expanded it to allow for differentiation.
Level one is a set of cards with simple color matching.

Easter Egg Matching and Pattern Activities | Apples to Applique

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Up, Up, and Away! 3D Student Kite Artwork Display

Kites always seem to make their way into early childhood curriculum at this time of year. After all, what embodies spring better than the classic high-flying toy?

My students had to decorate a paper kite as their monthly family involvement project. We send something home once a month for them to decorate with their families, and then display the finished project at school. I love seeing the creativity that flows through their projects!
I mentioned this to my husband, who, as it happens, is also a Pre-K teacher. (Just for a few more months, though, until he finishes his degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Whoohoo!) He also just had his students decorate kites...but, as usual, he one-upped me in the creativity of his display, and I had to share it here.

Up, Up, and Away! 3D Student Kite Artwork Display | Apples to Applique

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hats for All Occasions!

A couple weeks ago I posted about the Author Study Hat I had listed in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. My students love making these kinds of hats for all different occasions. These make the perfect last-minute activity for a class party or as a culmination to a unit. Students color and cut them out themselves, which makes it more meaningful for them (and easier for you).

I'm excited because I just finished a big project--a huge bundle of 23 of these hats! This price is quite a bargain--it's like getting 6 of the hats completely free!

What I really love about these hats is that you don't need to use a sentence strip, as the band is included. Plus, the band of each hat is decorated, which sets my hats apart from other similar sentence strip hats.

NO PREP Holiday and Events Hats Bundle with 23 Hats | Apples to Applique

There are hats in there for just about everything!

Included are:
Autumn (pumpkins and leaves)
Autumn (leaves)
Thanksgiving (turkey)
Thanksgiving (cornucopia)
Christmas (tree with gifts)
Christmas (gingerbread girl)
Christmas (gingerbread boy)
Winter (snowflake)
Groundhog Day
Valentine’s Day
100th Day
Patriotic (Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, etc.)
Author Study (customizable for Dr. Seuss Day and more)
St. Patricks Day
Earth Day / Recycling
Off to a BRIGHT Future (last day of school)
Birthday Crown

I hope your students enjoy these as much as mine do!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Author Study Hat for Dr. Seuss Week

Dr. Seuss Week is almost upon us! It sneaks up on my every year! I will never again forget the date, though, because my second daughter was born on Dr. Seuss's birthday two years ago. She came so quickly; I had planned to be at school the next morning for our Dr. Seuss Day fun. We had a visitor coming to read and everything. Well, she had other plans and surprised us in the middle of the night by making her appearance into the world a week ahead of schedule, and I missed out on Dr. Seuss Day with my class--which is kind of a big deal when you teach Pre-K, but she was completely worth it! Of course, we had a Dr. Seuss themed 1st birthday party for her a year later. :)

Now that the date is embedded in my brain, I think I'll be a little more prepared for it every year. I hope, anyway.

This year, I think I'll have my kids design these easy hats. They can draw their favorite Dr. Seuss character on the book, and it's totally customizable, so we can use them for other authors later.

Author Study Hat for Dr. Seuss Week | Apples to Applique

These color-cut-and-go hats are always a hit with my students, and give us something simple but fun to do during parent parties. They love being able to wear their creations, too!

Get yours here in my TPT store! They are super teacher-friendly and great for the last minute, because there is no prep! Literally print and go, then the kids do the rest. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Caps for Sale Dramatic Play Center

My kids absolutely love dramatic play and retelling stories. We read "The Three Little Pigs" a few weeks ago, and since then, they just kept acting it out during their learning labs time. One of my paras made them some pig and wolf masks, and they all had a blast!

The next week, our librarian read them Caps for Sale and then had them act it out. Again, my kids just couldn't get enough, and started doing this on their own during learning labs. I decided to make a few cute props to aid in their play. I contacted my go-to clip art person, JolieDesign, and she came up with the fantastic clip art for me. Seriously, if you need clip art for your classroom, hit her up!

I am ecstatic with how these turned out!

Caps for Sale Dramatic Play Center | Apples to Applique

I designed retelling cards to help kids with summarizing or retelling the story in their own words. My students like to hold these up and play teacher with them. They're also helpful after a read-aloud to just show the kids and ask them questions about main events in the story.
I also made a sign for the peddler to either wear or display in their center, and masks for the peddler and monkeys. For the hats themselves, I'm giving them beanbags to stack on their heads; it gives them great gross motor practice!

I love watching kids act out their favorite stories. One of my students takes her turn as the peddler and always says, "Caps for sale! Fifty dollars for each!" It cracks me up every time, but the other kids don't seem to mind her price increase and just roll with it. ;)

Of course, I can't keep a resource this good to myself, so it's listed in my TPT store. You can find it here: Caps for Sale Retelling Kit and Dramatic Play Center. I hope your students love it as much as mine do, and I would love to hear how you utilize this kit in your classroom!