Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ideas and Resources to Teach Constitution Day in Kindergarten

Today we celebrated Constitution Day in my kindergarten classroom. Since the Constitution can be such a very BIG idea for young little minds, we always put a patriotic spin on this very special day. To begin, the students arrive at school dressed in red, white and blue. Then the fun begins!

The highlight of our day is creating patriotic hats! With this very simple activity, students receive a 4" band of red construction paper and several 2x4" strips of white construction paper rectangles. The children use glue sticks to attach the white strips to the band. Each student then cuts out 4 blue construction paper stars and glues the stars onto their headband. Once all of the cutting and gluing is complete, I wrap the decorated band around each child's head and staple the ends together.

This project is so simple, but so adorable and the kids have a blast! 

You can download a FREE template and instructions for making your own classroom patriotic headbands in my TpT store. Just click the cover below to download your freebie! 

FREE Constitution Day Videos

Looking for some great video resources to share with your children on Constitution Day? There are MANY great options on YouTube!

Books to Help You Teach About the Constitution

If you are looking to enhance your classroom library with some books about the Constitution, here are a few selections that were written for early elementary students. Click any book cover to shop!

Happy Constitution Day from my classroom to yours!

How did YOU celebrate the Constitution today? I would love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stitch Fix 10 - I Kept it All! (Plus a Giveaway)

My favorite time of the month is here again… Stitch Fix time! My personal stylist at Stitch Fix sent the most wonderful assortment of fall clothes in my latest shipment. I love Stitch Fix because new clothes are one of my all-time favorite things but I am so busy I never have time to shop. Stitch Fix solves that dilemma for me. I just complete an online style profile and pay a $20 styling fee, then a personal stylist selects 5 garments just for me! Shipping is free and I can try each piece on in the comfort of my home. I love the convenience of pairing each piece with clothes, shoes, and accessories that I already own. I keep the items I want, check out online, and return the garments I don't wish to keep in the pre-paid shipping envelope that is included in my fix. Returns are free too! 

Check out this blogger's latest arrival from Stitch Fix… she bought it all!
This month's arrival was so great, I kept EVERY item! I don't want to hold you in suspense so let's dig right in to these pretty pieces. First up was a printed dolman sleeve top. My stylist sent me a gorgeous lightweight dolman sleeve sweater in my previous fix. I raved about the sweater on my fashion Pinterest board so I was treated to a similar top once again.
berneen printed dolman sleeve top from stitch fix

This month's dolman sleeve top had a fun teal and indigo geometric print. I paired it with my favorite skinny Kensie jeans (also from Stitch Fix). I added some gold jewelry, brown boots and my favorite rose gold & white ceramic Fossil watch.

berneen printed dolman sleeve top from stitch fix with jeans and gold jewelry #stitchfix

The entire ensemble looked great and I felt so comfortable in my new printed dolman sleeve top. 

berneen printed dolman sleeve top from stitch fix with skinny jeans, brown boots, and gold jewelry #stitchfix

My next item was a twist-back striped cardigan. I get cold very easily and I often have a lightweight summer or jacket around on the hottest of days. Especially in the classroom. The AC makes me freeze and I am always on the lookout for a stylish new cardigan to add to my collection. 

Clove Twist Back Striped Cardigan from Stitch Fix

I loved the  bold look of this striped sweater and wanted to pair it with something FUN. I dug deep into my closet and paired the cardigan with the pink sleeveless fit and flare dress I received in my 5th fix. At the time, I wasn't a huge fan of this solid bright pink dress but it was cheaper for me to purchase every item in my fix (Stitch Fix offers a 25% discount on all items if you purchase your entire fix) than it was to return the pink dress and keep everything else. I am so glad I kept the dress, because it was the perfect match for this black and white striped cardigan!

Clove twist back striped cardigan with a pink fit and flare dress from Stitch Fix #stitchfix

When worn with black tights, plain black riding boots, a simple strand of black beads and my black Fossil watch, this outfit is bright, bold and completely adorable. I love how the black tights take the emphasis off my legs and make the outfit seem much fore school-appropriate than if I wore it with bare legs and a pair of flats. I adore this outfit and it will help keep my mood lifted as the cooler temperatures begin to take over in Michigan. 

Clove twist back striped cardigan with a pink fit and flare dress and black boots from Stitch Fix #stitchfix

Just in case you were wondering, the back of this cardigan is even more beautiful than the front. There are several pieces sewn together than give the sweater an interesting architectural quality. It also gathers and twists at my lower back, which gives the sweater a slimming effect. I'm telling you, this sweater is GORGEOUS and you need to have one for your closet. 

Clove twist back striped cardigan from Stitch Fix #stitchfix

This fix also contained a beautiful abstract print tulip sleeve blouse. At first, I wasn't sure what to think of the print. It was definitely different. 

Cathleen Abstract Print Tulip Sleeve Blouse from Stitch Fix

Feeling inspired by fall, I wore the blouse with a pair of brown dress pants and some gold jewelry. Then I fell in love. The blouse was a perfect fit and the colors looked so rich. 

Cathleen Abstract Print Tulip Sleeve Blouse from Stitch Fix

The slight ruching detail on the sleeves is subtle but I like how they give the blouse a little something special.

Cathleen Abstract Print Tulip Sleeve Blouse from Stitch Fix

I will happily wear the tulip sleeve blouse to work in my kindergarten classroom, but I also wanted to make it part of weekend-ready ensemble, so I added a cardigan, my skinny Kensie jeans, and brown boots. Perfect and ready for a trip to the cider mill or a drive to Northern Michigan to see the fall colors. 

Cathleen Abstract Print Tulip Sleeve Blouse from Stitch Fix with skinny jeans, brown boots, and a plum cardigan

The next item in my fix was a gray pleated swing skirt. This knit skirt will be perfect for the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. I don't own many skirts or dresses for winter. I'm always cold so it seems crazy to me to willingly wear skirts instead of pants when it's 20 degrees outside, but sometimes an occasion arrises where I just need to bite the bullet and dress up. This skirt will be perfect for those occasions!

Charissa pleated swing skirt from Stitch Fix
I paired the gray swing skirt with jeweled heels and a fitted royal blue cardigan and the look is perfect! I love how polished this outfit looks. I may not wear it to school, but I am certain I will wear this outfit occasionally during the cold months. 

Charissa pleated swing skirt from Stitch Fix

The fifth and final garment included in my fix was a fit and flare dress in a rich purple color that is perfect for fall!

 Aleisha fit and flare dress from Stitch Fix

Initially, I styled this dress with the denim jacket that was included in my 9th fix, a mustard scarf, and some gold jewelry. LOVE!
 Aleisha fit and flare dress from Stitch Fix with a denim jacket and mustard scarf #stitchfix

I was feeling experimental so I switched the scarf to an ivory knit scarf and changed my watch from white to black, but kept the black tights and plain black riding boots. 
Aleisha fit and flare dress from Stitch Fix

Finally, I added the denim jacket to the ensemble once again. 
Aleisha fit and flare dress from Stitch Fix with a knit scarf and denim jacket

I love each ensemble that I was able to create with this simple purple dress and black boots. By swapping out a few accessories, it completely changed the look of the dress. I'm gaga over the look with the mustard scarf, but I'm dying to know which version of this outfit is YOUR favorite!

Aleisha fit and flare dress from Stitch Fix styled 3 different ways

The Breakdown

You already know that I decided to keep every item in my fix this month. Here is the price breakdown of each item: 

Berneen Printed Doman Sleeve Top, $58 KEEP
Clove Twist Back Striped Cardigan, $68 KEEP
Cathleen Abstract Print Tulip-Sleeve Blouse, $68 KEEP
Charissa Pleated Swing Skirt, $58 Keep
Aleisha Fit and Flare Dress, $88 KEEP

Buy All Discount

Don't let those prices fool you! Stitch Fix has an amazing deal that provides customers with an automatic 25% discount on every item in their fix if you decide to keep the entire shipment. Since I purchased every item in my fix, I saved $80! I also earned back my $20 styling fee (which is automatically deducted from the price of any item from your fix). This fix only cost $240 instead of $340. This fix was a bargain and the convenience can't be beat! This is actually the third time I purchased my entire fix. You can read more (and see photos) from the first and the second time. 

Stitch Fix Giveaway

Now you can enter to win a $20 Stitch Fix gift card - that's enough to cover the styling fee of your next fix so can enjoy the service risk-free! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Another Chance to Win

You should definitely check out A Differentiated Kindergarten this week too. Marsha posted photos of her latest fix (spoiler alert - she kept every item too!) and she is also giving away a $20 Stitch Fix gift card on the Differentiated Kindergarten blog.
Stop by for another chance to WN!

Differentiated Kindergarten

Sign Up For Stitch Fix

If you're new to Stitch Fix and are ready to sign up and try it for yourself, please sign up using my referral link. I receive a small commission that helps me to continue sharing my fixes (every single blog post takes more than 8 hours to photograph, edit, and write). Thank you so much for your continued support!

Stitch Fix online personal styling service for women

Pin Your Favorite Styles

If you are already receiving shipments from Stitch Fix, let your stylist know what you love! Be sure to include a link to your favorite style or fashion Pinterest board. If you see something in this blog post that you love, pin it to your style board and let your stylist know exactly why you love it.

Until next month… have a very fashionable day!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Harry Kindergarten + Kinder-Craze Calendar Giveaway!

As a kindergarten teacher, I find that I am constantly looking for ways to improve instruction. Whether that means using finding great new videos to teach kindergarten concepts or hanging visual resources that are cleaner and easier children to read; my job is to keep finding what works EVEN better than how I did things before. 

This fall, I was determined to overhaul my calendar/circle time space. It looks better than ever, is more interactive for my students, AND can easily include some extra interest (thanks to the musical innovation of Harry Kindergarten!) I'll get back to my space with LOTS of photos in a minute, but first let me tell you more about Harry Kindergarten!

Beautiful kindergarten calendar area

All About Harry Kindergarten

If you don't know about Harry Kindergarten, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! For starters, his name is Pete Harry and he is a real-life kindergarten teacher who spends his days in the trenches just like you and I. Pete knows the importance of keeping students engaged in learning and he has a natural talent for creating music. A few years ago, Pete put his skills as a teacher and music-maker to work for his own kindergarten classroom - and just like that Harry Kindergarten was born!

Harry Kindergarten Music keeps students rocking while they learn

Pete originally created a set of videos for his own classroom, but was sweet and generous enough to list the videos on the Harry Kindergarten YouTube channel. Since then, Harry Kindergarten Music has become a YouTube sensation with over 65,000 subscribers! He has videos to cover virtually every element of kindergarten classroom management and curriculum. From sitting how to sit Criss-Cross Applesauce, to sight words and the Needs of a Plant, to Numbers in the Teens and everything in between; Harry Kindergarten videos are guaranteed to get your students rocking and learning at the same time! 

Rockin' Calendar Concepts with Harry Kindergarten  

Since I had plans to freshen up my own classroom calendar time this year, I was immediately intrigued to discover that  there several Harry Kindergarten videos that teach calendar concepts. Here are a few of them along with the Kinder-Craze calendar resources that go-hand-in hand with each video.


Through the Year monthly label cards from Kinder-Craze

Days of the Week

Through the Week Daily Label Cards from Kinder-Craze

Seasons of the Year

Season Cards for a classroom calendar

Weather and Temperature

Weather Cards for a classroom calendar

More About My Classroom Calendar

Kinder-Craze fans love seeing photos of my kindergarten classroom. In the past, I haven't shared many photos of my calendar area because it wasn't a particularly attractive area in my classroom - until now! I spent several weeks this summer creating sweet, child-friendly calendar resources that teachers and students will LOVE. I use many of the sets in my own calendar area and I ADORE the fresh, cohesive look of my updated calendar area. Most of the items in the space are attached to the my whiteboard using dot magnets

Printable resources to create a beautiful classroom calendar

The grid for the actual "calendar" in my calendar area is from Creative Teaching Press's dots on black collection. Each month, I use a different set of numbers from my Through the Year Calendar Numbers pack. Every number collection in the set features seasonal images arranged in a different pattern. My kindergarten students LOVE figuring out which number will be the next picture in the pattern. 

I display upcoming special days with my Through the Year Calendar Holiday Cards. My September calendar depicts the school's annual fall book fair, Constitution Day, the first day of fall, and the first day of October. When my kiddos know that a special day is coming up, they are ALWAYS asking how many days it will be until the event. Thank to my Calendar Holiday Cards, my students can find the answers to all of those "how long until…" questions without any help from me!

Printable resources to create a beautiful classroom calendar

Although it may not be a teaching topic for our calendar time, I also display my classroom daily schedule beside the calendar. My Schedule Cards are available in the {Black Series} or {White Series}.  One of my teaching standards is for students to name objects that measure time. Clocks are always the obvious answer, but the calendar and schedule cards also help my students keep track of passing time. 

Printable resources to create a beautiful classroom calendar

We take a few minutes each day to discuss the weather, temperature, and seasons. The class loves moving the magnetic pieces onto each sign to complete the sentences. 
Printable resources to create a beautiful classroom calendar

Harry Kindergarten + Kinder-Craze Calendar Giveaway

How would you like to win some free digital music from Harry Kindergarten and a special calendar prize pack from Kinder-Craze? Sounds great, right? Here's what's up for grabs:

Your choice of 3 Harry Kindergarten video downloads OR 6 audio downloads

Kinder-Craze plus Harry Kindergarten GIVEAWAY!

What are you waiting for? Use the Rafflecopter below for your chance to WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is YOUR favorite Harry Kindergarten video to play in the classroom? 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Staples Gift Card Giveaway

Now that everyone is getting into the swing of life back at school, the Freebielicious girls think you deserve a very special treat! We know that your wallet is probably empty at the moment from stocking on on classroom supplies (and decorations if you're like me), so we have just what you need to spoil yourself a little: gift cards to all of our favorite stores! We also have a GREAT BIG GRAND PRIZE that we are giving away on the Freeblielicious blog. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of this post so you don't miss out! 

ENTER TO WIN A $300 VISA GIFT CARD and so much more!

Right here at Kinder-Craze I am giving away a $25 Staples gift card. 
Staples is my go-to place to stop when I run out of labels or cardstock and I don't have time to wait for online shipping. 

Enter to win a $25 Staples gift card

Use the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $25 Staples Gift Card. Please remember to enter with integrity. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

But this giveaway is SO MUCH MORE AMAZING than just the chance to win a $25 Staples gift card! The Freebielicious ladies know how much money goes into supplies, tissues, books, and classroom decor to get your classroom "kid-ready" and we want to put some of that money right back into your pocket. 
We are giving away a $300 Visa gift card on the Freeblielicious blog

That's right… $300!!!

To enter the BIG GIVEAWAY, click here or on the button below! 

ENTER TO WIN A $300 VISA GIFT CARD and so much more!

Plus, many of my Freebielicious friends are also giving away some truly spectacular prizes on their own blogs. Look at some of the other prizes up for grabs! 

ENTER TO WIN A $300 VISA GIFT CARD and so much more!
If you're ready for a chance to win gift cards to all your favorite stores, you definitely need to stop by the Freebielicious blog for links to all these fabulous giveaways. 

Best of luck and I hope your school year is off to an AMAZING start!

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