Last weekend my little princess graduated from preschool!  She still has one more year before she can go to kindergarten, but her preschool allows all children to participate in the graduation each year.  This is her second year participating! Luckily, we saved her cap and gown and only had to buy a new tassel.  So adorable!
Here she is with her Graduation Barbie.  I actually got that Barbie as a gift from my high school graduation.  Her sash says "2000 Graduate".  I found her at my moms house last summer and let Audrey play with her.  She insisted on bringing Barbie to the graduation since they matched!

Each parent created a poster for their child that was displayed during the graduation.  Two of my girl friends helped me create Audrey's one night.  My dining room table was cluttered with scrapbook paper, my Cricut, pictures of Audrey, and of course wine.  We had a blast!

The graduation was super hero themed this year.  The cafeteria was decorated with masks the kids made, along with other super hero themed crafts.

I designed the programs with clipart from and the font BD Cartoon Shout.  Those kids are perfect because they look like preschoolers with big heads :)

Last year, we learned that graduations are a huge deal in Hawaii.  We were unprepared for this and brought nothing with us.  Then we found out that the parents adorn all the kids with leis made from yarn, ribbon flowers, even candy! This year, we were not about to come empty handed! I needed something the kids would like, yet easy since we are moving and I'm finishing out the school year in my own classroom, as well.  

I ended up with rubber ducky leis! 

I bought the duckies and leis on Amazon.
Click here to see on Amazon
Click here to see on Amazon

I cut out sun-shaped tags on my Cricut.  Then I tied the ducky and tag to the lei with some present-wrapping ribbon and curled the ends with my scissor blade.  They were easy to hand out at the graduation and the kids all now have a cute graduation ducky to play with in the bathtub or at the beach! 

Does your school do end of the year celebrations? Maybe you can use this idea for a graduate you know!
I'm joining the Bright Ideas link-up again!

This month, I'm bringing you a Bright Idea about packing your classroom.  Some of you may know, that I have accepted a 1st grade position at a school in Maui.  So our family will be ordering containers, packing our house and packing my classroom at the end of this month. I'm here with a Bright Idea for May!

I'm a teacher-a-holic and own way too much of my classroom materials than I should.

To help pack, store, and transport my posters, I use one of those tri-fold bulletin boards.  I taped it together and it is the best!

I keep my posters in these narrow drawers throughout the year so I have easy access.

But then as I'm ready to move - I taped together a science fair display board and turned it into a poster holder.  I've had this for 8 years and it's still going strong.  Its easy and thin enough to store behind some stuff in my closet.

Do you need poster storage? Or are you moving schools like me and don't want your posters ruined?

For more bright ideas more than 130 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

I'm linking up with my friend Jennifer, over at Rowdy in First Grade for some Teacher Confessions....

  1. The same thing happened last year - I plowed through our reading curriculum and now we get to actually have some fun, literature-based lessons.  Right now we're doing an ecology/rainforest unit and studying the Great Kapok Tree.  We are loving it! 
  2. Since I'm good to go on our standards and have things copied and prepped for the rest of the year, I haven't written anything in my plan book.  Ooops.  In my defense, I did go through my weekly newsletters to double check what I had told parents we were learning and wrote that down in my book for last month.  So I don't look like a complete slacker.  
  3. I asked my ESL aide to count Box Tops today.  No, he didn't work with children.  He counted Box Tops.  Priorities, people ;)
  4. I have 4 weeks until the end of the year, but I have already started packing for my move to Maui.  I have to pack an entire classroom and a house, people! At my old school, we were required to wait to pack until the last week.  Not here.  It's packing time.  Maybe I'll have the kids help :)
  5. I stopped spelling because I don't actually think memorizing words and giving tests actually helps kids learn to spell.  And I hate grading those tests.  Instead, we are learning root words this quarter.  The kids are loving the change, so I think it's a win.
  6. I also despise timed math tests.  After going to a Singapore Math workshop a few months ago, I was validated in that.  I ordered the Math Sprints book on Amazon and it took foreeeeeeevvvveeer to get here.  But, it's here, and the kids love it.  They love beating their own scores! And I don't grade anything, or write it down.  I love it. 
  7. We just finished reading Charlotte's Web and we did comprehension questions after every chapter and also a culminating project.  These past few days, we watched the movie - just because I wanted a break.  That's ok, right?  One of my sweeties wrote me a card for Teacher Appreciation that said "I love that you let us watch movies."  This is not a regular occurrence! SMH. 
  8. I'm loving my economy system this quarter and fining kids for not listening, not doing what they are supposed to be, talking in line, and many other things! They are finally motivated! 
  9. My observation is on Friday.  My first one of the year.  In the last month of school.  I'm not excited. 
  10. Even though I know moving is going to be better for my family and for my career, I will honestly miss the community and my students on Lanai.  I am hoping to keep a good relationship with my friends here and visit often! I'll only be on the next island over. 
What are your confessions? Surely you are a little like me? No? Humor me, please! 

Starting tomorrow is a big sitewide sale at Teachers Pay Teachers! 

I'll be participating in the sale and have been working my little hiney off getting some new units uploaded.

First up is a fun game to help teach sound blending: Dino-Mite Sound Blending.  I teach the lowest achieving students in the grade level during reading groups and I have one group of 3 little ones who REALLY needed this! The arrows and dots under the sounds have really helped them because they slide their fingers under the letters as they blend.  It has really stopped their robot, sound-by-sound blending and has helped them blend smoothly.  I'll definitely be making more products like this in different themes to help reinforce this skill as I move back down to 1st grade next year!

Next up is a fun book companion for the Hawaiian story Maka the Magic Music Maker.  It includes vocabulary cards and definitions, informational articles with questions, comprehension pages, and a writing project.  This would be perfect for an end of the year luau theme!

This is one I am so excited to finally have finished - Getting Started With the Writing Process!  I've been using the Writing Process clip-chart all year and have been slowly adding more ideas to the unit as the year has gone on.  I am confident you will find ideas for teaching Common Core writing through the writing process! The standards are aligned to 2nd grade and I hope to have 1st and 3rd grade versions up soon!

This unit, May Day is Lei Day, I actually taught last week and just didn't have time to get it ready for my TpT store until this weekend.  BUT, if you are wanting to do a luau theme for your end of hte year, it would be perfect! Learn how Hawaiians celebrate May Day, learn about the official flowers of the islands, and make paper leis! 

My last one is another product I've been using all year in my classroom and i finally got it all ready for you! It's a Classroom Jobs Chart.  You'll find 2 different sizes of cards, one for a pocket chart and one to attach to library pockets.  You'll also find 7 different color options for you.  You can choose one or mix-and-match: white, rainbow stripe, pink, green, orange, blue, or purple.  I've also included an editable file to help you create student picture cards or name cards. 

I told you I've been busy! These new units, as well as the rest of my store will be on sale for May 6th and 7th.  Don't forget to use the code TPTXO for an additional 10% off! Happy Teacher's Appreciation Week!
May 1st is a special day in Hawaii - May Day! On May Day, we celebrate our aloha spirit for our friends and family and give leis to each other! 

To teach my students about Lei Day, we learned about each island's official color and flower.  Here is our classroom bulletin board map with the islands colored the correct colors.
#luckyilivehi is a popular hashtag in the islands

Then we did crayon/watercolor resist to color the flowers.  We added student-written labels for the islands and the flower names.

After we learned about the flowers, we made paper leis to wear during our school-wide performance.  We used real lei needles and strung the paper flowers and straw pieces onto yarn.

For our performance, the entire 2nd grade sang and performed a hula to the song Plumeria Lei.  We got the song from this CD and the hula from this DVD.  The songwriter is a Montessori teacher on Maui and was kind enough to send me the ukulele music for the song.  Our school's music teacher was able to play the ukulele while we sang.  It was so nice!

Here is my class and one of the other 2nd grades right before the performance (I only have permission to show faces from my class ;)

 Here is the kindergarten performing their song and dance with pupu shells.  The students all faced our Royal May Day Court: one prince and princess for each island and a Queen and King.  Think of it like a Prom Court.

Here is the 2nd grade performing our song and hula.  I lead the kids up front.

One more of the 2nd graders.  They all did so well! 

If you have some time this month and want to squeeze in a few lessons about Hawaiian culture, so pick up my May Day unit! You can read an informational article about the holiday, answer text-dependent questions, learn about the island flowers, and make your own paper lei!

You can pick it up in my TpT store!
Have you been obsessively checking out Schoolgirl Style's new collections, like me?  Seriously, Melanie is so awesome and I've loved her style ever since I saw her bird classroom almost 3 years ago.

Ever since April 21st, Melanie has been releasing her 16 newest designs and I'm in L-O-V-E!!  Introducing - Modern Apple!

Do you see that polka-dotted pom pom?? SWOON!!!

Black and white with a pop of red - so sophisticated!

I love all the paper patterns on the pennants!

So many different options are included: binder covers, alphabets, number posters, labels, name tags, even paper to cover cans for pencils or decor.  She also added tons of new organization and poms to her store.  I love that gray pom in the top right corner!

The cursive alphabet looks so great in this color scheme, don't you think? But don't worry, there is a ball and stick one for primary, as well ;)

Wouldn't it be so fun to turn these flowers into pens for small group work or a writing center? The kids would love them!

And now, the best part - a giveaway! Who wouldn't want to win this set?? Melanie is giving away this full collection, Pacon fadeless paper for your bulletin boards, two rolls of Pacon Bordette to re-create Melanie's famous layered borders, and 6 coordinating poms, daisies, or lanterns of your choice.  This giveaway is sure to help you start off the new school year with a bang and give you plenty of time to get it all together and set up!

a Rafflecopter giveaway