Saturday, January 25, 2014

Drowning in Paperwork

My students know me as The Boss of Applesauce, while my peers all know that I am really just drowning in it. 
At this time of year, as I am struggling to write a proposal for Universal Pre-Kindergarten and gather all of the necessary documents to renew our license with the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, it is easy to lose sight of it all. But as I braved the -5 degree wind chill, four hours early, on Thursday morning and mentally planned for my upcoming Chinese New Year unit, I imagined the children's faces when they would finally master the skill of chopsticks and I thought 'If I could, I would do this job for free.'
I absolutely LOVE teaching!!! I thank God everyday that I am finally getting a chance to do this thing that I love so much. Even if it does come with a ton of paperwork.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pounding the Pavement and Compound Words

I'm so excited. After weeks of trying, the hubby and I finally snagged seats on a bus to Washington DC to take part in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Anyone who knows me knows that I am always ready to pound the pavement for something that I believe in and I am ecstatic about the opportunity to participate in such a historic event.
So in honor of my upcoming trip, I have created a Compound Word Song Freebie! (Yay!).
Initially, when I planned our compound word unit, I watched and sang Dr. Jean's "Compound Word Boogie' on Youtube a gazillion times, so that I wouldn't forget it. I had my pictures printed on cardstock, cut and magnetized (I put magnet dots on the back),  had my marker poised over my magnetic dry erase board and COULD NOT REMEMBER THE SONG!! No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the beat in my head. For some reason I cannot explain, the only tune that would come to my head was "Sally the Camel". ARRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!
So in Super Teacher fashion, I just made up a compound word song to that tune. I wrote it on my dry erase board leaving blank spaces for pictures (I switched them as the verses changed) and the children LOVED IT! In fact, we began singing the song during transition times. The children all stop what they are doing and yell out the compound word (which makes the little teacher in my head start doing the running man).

If you use these with your children, let me know how they like it. While you are there, click the follow button so you can be one of the first to know about my new products.

Remember Your Passion


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, August 17, 2013

You "Get" to Read This!

I am officially on vacation (Applause! woo hoo! oh yeah, oh yeah!). By vacation I mean completing administrative work for The Children's Magic Shout Out Foundation, attending the 13th Annual Stop the Violence event, working on my teaching tips book, updating my blog and planning my routines and lessons for the new school year which begins September 4th. 
A wise man (my boss, who doesn't read my blog, but you can never be too sure :-D) reminded me that I "get" to do these wonderful things, I don't "have" to do them. I "get to help underprivileged children. I "get" to stand up for what I believe in. I "get" to prepare myself for molding young minds. The best part is, I "get" to share my crazy world with all of you lovely folks. 
Hopefully, I also "get" to get all of those posts that I meant to put up during the school year. Don't be surprised if you see a post on Arctic Animals on a 90 degree Sunday, rest assured, they were covered in January (I think). 
I will try to throw a freebie or two in also. (Why else would anyone come to this page? :-D)

If you haven't already, visit my TPT store and download my current available freebies 

Update: My two week break, turned out to actually be one and a half, as the staff must report to work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the second week for staff development and to prepare the classrooms. This means I "get" to spend more time than I thought perfecting my room layout for the new school year. Yay me!

Remember Your Passion

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Endings & Beginnings

What a crazy week this has been. While most people are preparing for back to school, I am preparing for the end of the school year and the beginning of a new one at the same time! My school runs year round and only closes for two weeks in August. So while I am closing the year out and saying goodbye to my future kindergartners, I am also preparing for a new batch of  little ones, who are just beginning their preschool journey. 
Good thing I have those two "vacation" weeks coming up. :-)
In the spirit of endings and new beginnings, I am finishing up some lingering projects, closing out some business ventures and focusing on what's ahead. I am putting together a teaching strategy book (tough project), I will be uploading some new things to my TPT store and working on making my blog look as spectacular as some of those others I have seen. 
I am so new to this. I still haven't learned how to link to my blog when I write comments. Hopefully, somewhere in those two weeks, I will come across a good blog tutorial. If anyone knows of any, please leave the link in my comments.

And now for a freebie--Just because.
I saw this quote on leadership at a community center where I was volunteering and had to have it for my classroom. 

You can get it from my TPT Store

While you are there, become a follower so you can be among the first to know about new freebies.

*Remember Your Passion*

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Sizzlers

(Freebie Alert)

The past few weeks, I have been focusing on ways to get organized and manage my time, inside the classroom and out. I have a planner, cutsy to-do lists and files for almost everything. 
Truth be told, my life is still a hot mess, but it's gotten a little easier. I've picked up a bunch of tips and tricks from those with lots of experience, as well as gaining insight from those, who like me, are just starting out in the field. I've also discovered some cool things on my own, which I am super excited to share.
Unfortunately, I am so disorganized that everything is all jumbled up in my head and on my hard drive. So I decided to organize it all the only way I know how - by writing it all down.
So with everything else going on in my life, I have decided to write a book. It will be called "Summer Sizzlers" and it will be a compilation of some of the really cool summer themed ideas that have been shared with me and that I want to share. 
I have shared this idea with my co-workers and they have been amazing in helping me out and with trying some of my ideas out in their classrooms. There are so many things that seem good in theory, but fall flat in the classroom, so I am not putting anything in the book that I have not actually done with my class. 
There are also a lot of amazing ideas that I have come across that are suitable for one or two children, but not for a group of children. Those are not for this book. This book will be for summertime group activities.
It will be an EXTREME amount of work, I know, but not only do I think it will be worth it, I think it will help me organize a lot of the ideas I have floating around.
I will be posting a lot of teasers over the next couple of months and really need your feedback to know that I am on the right track. So if you see something  you like-leave a comment or a rating. Follow my blog, my facebook page and my TPT store. Tell a friend to tell a friend to tell a friend.
My first teaser is a really cool sequencing song that I made up to the tune of "The Green Grass Grows All Around" created for a picnic theme. I used manipulatives when I did this activity with my preschool class and they LOVED it. I have done it numerous times since and it is met with the same enthusiasm each time. 
If you use it with your little ones, let me know how it goes. 


Click on the link below to get the freebie.
The Ants, They Crawl All Around Freebie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Drowning in Much More Than Applesauce

It's been so long since I have been able to update my blog and it is simply because I CANNOT FIND THE TIME. I am juggling so much with work, family and volunteering, that I am utterly exhausted. I visit my favorite teaching blogs daily ( Teacher to the CoreGrowing A Jeweled Rose1+1+1=1 and Playdough to Plato, to name a few), but I am too tired to even come up with a clever comment to leave. My weekends are filled with lesson planning, Pinterest hopping and trying to catch up on a week's worth of sleep in one day. 
I was so excited to FINALLY start my blog and I have no clue on how to keep it running. 
I even joined a webinar, which was SUPPOSED to help teach me to maintain my blog...sadly, I didn't have time to participate.
I imagine the writers of the blogs I follow to be some superhuman, fruit-ninja type warriors, able to slice life's obstacles in half, while simultaneously avoiding the bombs. How they still find time to share such fabulous ideas dressed in witty banter, I will never understand. 
I am shining my floodlight with a capital T in the sky and hoping one of my super blogging teacher/this/thatandthensomes will give me a clue. How do you juggle teaching, family and LIFE and still find time to blog about it?


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chinese New Year!

Being a first year teacher, I am extra excited about every holiday that comes around because I feel as if I am celebrating them for the first time. In the case of Chinese New Year, this really is the first time I am celebrating it, making it super special. Adding to my excitement was a chance to use all of the cool stuff in the Chinese New Year unit that I won from It was created for first and second grade, so I modified some of the activities to fit my preschoolers. It has everything you need for a successful Chinese New Year celebration, including bulletin board goodies.
The Panda Smart Art was a big hit with the kids.


We also used the dragon hat template to create our tissue paper dragon head.
I recreated the image on poster board and wrote the color names in colored marker. I gave the children sheets of tissue paper to tear and glue onto the poster board.


Then it was time to decorate the body. I drew scales onto yellow roll paper and let the kids do the rest.

Our original costume was really long in order to accommodate all of our kids, but the day of our parade fell on the same day of Nor'easter, so many of our children did not show up for school. We cut the roll down and cut the excess into strips to hang from the sides. (We were originally going to do this with tissue paper). Sticks were added and Viola'!

We had been practicing our dragon dancing without the costume all week to traditional Chinese music and learning how to move in harmony with each other, so by the time our dragon costume was done we were pros. 

Of course no Chinese New Year Celebration is complete without chopsticks. The children were surprisingly good at using them. It helps that they had been using them in various centers throughout the week. (i.e letter sorting, colored rice sensory table, Lego color sorts). I was still impressed at the skill at which they used them to eat. :-D 


Other activities included fan dancing with child created fans, Chinese clothing for the dress-up center and one of my favorite books "Tikki-Tikki -Tembo". It was hi-la-rious to hear the children try to say the full name. I laughed so much my sides ached.

To find it on Amazon Click Here

To get a copy of the Chinese New Year unit I used, which includes many more activities,  Click Here 
To see the blog on the unit by its creator Click Here

I can't wait until next year!!! I have so much more planned. I would love to hear what ideas you have come up with for the Chinese New Year. Please comment below.
From one of our exercises on working in harmony.