As a teacher, I always want to learn new things, so I have set out to learn more about making printable items for my classroom.  I thought I would also share them.  Right now I am working on making some word walls for the different themes I use in my preschool classroom.  I would like to share one of my first projects that I am working on in hopes of getting some feedback.

I started out with a school supplies theme for learning about the programs I use on my computer for making printables.  I still need to find a few more photos for this set, but would love for you to check out what I have started and make any suggestions.  I am also working on a community helpers themed word wall, which promises to have a bunch more pages since finding photos has been considerably easier for that theme.

The blue link above will open the pdf file for my current printable.  As I find more photos I plan to update the file with more photos and words.  If you have a suggested word for this set or a theme suggestion, please let me know.  I would also love to know if everything seems to open fine, print okay, fonts and photos work fine, and so forth.

Just put this up in our house.  It is a reminder to me as well as my children.

Ad for four days for Shoppers

I don’t go to Shoppers as much as I used to since I have been going to Aldi and Target, but I could not pass up the special four day double coupons up to 1.99 sale that started today. Here are some of the deals I found there.

Nesquik Powder pouches —- $1.00 each I had a coupon for $1.00 off two that doubled to make them free. I only bought four because that was all that was on the shelves.

Wet and Wild Nail Polish —– $1.89 each I had a coupon for $1.00 off one Wet and Wild. This took $1.89 off, making it free. I bought one for each girl since I had two coupons.

Maruchan Yakisoba —- 3 for $2.00 I had a coupon for $1 off 2, so I was not sure how this would work out. I think for some reason I ended up paying for one of these since it appears that it took 3.34 off when I used two coupons and bought six noodles. Not sure what other combination I should have done to make them all free.

Motts Apple Sauce —- I had the $1.10 off 2 coupons from Coupons.com. I bought 4 sets since I had 2 coupons. This ended up with them being 1.29 each since they are normally 2.39 at my store.

Weber Barbecue Sauce —- I had a $1 off one coupon, so I got one of these for .69.

Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce —- I had a Coupons.com coupon for .75 off one. This ended up costing .39 for the can.

Hawaiian Mini Snacker Rolls —- I had a $1 off one coupon, so these ended up costing .49 for a pack of four rolls. They are about the size of small sub rolls.

Jello —- I had a $1.10 off one coupon from Coupons.com so I let the girls choose. They picked gelatin, for which I paid .79.

Lipton Pure Leaf Tea —- I had a $1 off one coupon, so I paid .59 for the carafe.

These are the highlights of my trip. I also picked up a salad dressing, some Zatarains, paper towels, and Eggos. I saved 62% according to my receipt. There were a few items I would not have normally bought, like the gelatin, but I figured that was an inexpensive reward for my kids helping me find everything at the store without asking me a million times to buy other stuff not on my list.

The sale goes on through Sunday. I think it is only at Virginia stores.


After finishing my year of teaching preschool, I suddenly have some time in the evenings to do something other than lesson planning, cutting, laminating, and preparing crafts.  I decided to take a breather before jumping into projects for others and make something for my house.  I have not done this in a long time.

I rambled around Ravelry, searching for ideas.  I came up with one potholder that just did not look quite right.  Perhaps I will try it again another day.  Then, I happened upon these lovely Fanciful Flower Potholders by Claudia Lowman.  I like for my potholders to be thick, so these seemed like good ones to attempt.  Since we have our red, white, and blue tablecloth on the table for Memorial Day through Independence Day, I decided to pull out my cones of red, white, and blue cotton yarn.  (Where did I get cones of these yarns?  Sadly, Elmore-Pisgah has sold their space in NC, where I used to order cones directly.)


I discovered that I need to pay a bit closer attention as I work this pattern.  Can you tell which one ended up not quite right?  I ended up adding one too many petals and have one hot pad that is off center.  Once I discovered this, I counted petals and wrote notes down on my copy of the pattern, so I hopefully will not make such a mistake the next time.  I could blame my mistake on watching the third part of Hatfields and McCoys on my DVR while trying to complete the second one.  If you want to follow my lead and mark your copy of the pattern to have the same size sections of colors, I count 17 petals for the first three rounds (first color), 22 petals for the second color, and 49 petals for the last color.


What is in your project bag this week?

Ebook reader icon

My brother was kind enough to gift our family with a Kobo ereader when he upgraded to a new Kindle Fire.  Because of this, I have joined the ranks of those trying to gather as many interesting reads as possible.  Since we are on a tight budget, I have begun mostly with freebies.

Earlier I had discovered, thanks to a fellow blogger, that I could use the Kindle Cloud to read many of Amazon’s Kindle selections online.  I often see bloggers sharing different Kindle freebies, so I have gathered several of those that are available to read on the Kindle Cloud to use from my computer.  However, I cannot take my computer to my couch or bed, so I spend more time reading with my Kobo (and real live books.)

Currently I am reading a book called Dear Enemy (1916) by Jean Webster.  It is the sequel to Daddy Long Legs (1912), which was a well loved book that I had read many times growing up.  I think I picked up a copy at a church yard sale way back when.  I have just finished reading Daddy Long Legs to my two girls as one of our night time read alouds.

Daddy Long Legs can be found free on Kobo and Kindle.  It appears that these editions do not contain the little drawings that accompany some of the letters that are in the original book.  The book is written as a series of letters from an orphan that a trustee has sent to college.  She has never met the trustee, but once saw his shadow on the wall as he left the orphanage, which is where she picked up the name “Daddy Long Legs” for him.

Dear Enemy can also be found free on Kobo and Kindle.  This book contains one of the minor characters from Daddy Long Legs‘ letters written from the same orphanage.

What are you reading currently?  Have you found any good freebie reads lately?

Capital L crocheted

Letter of the Week

Last week was a very busy one for me, both in preschool and in “real” life.  At home I had three different people have a stomach virus at different times (including me) and my oldest broken her arm roller skating.  Because of the craziness at home I did not get to post my favorite activities of the week in preschool.  So now I have a little time to breathe and am ready to share, including my first preschool printable.

Lion shapes craft for preschool

Lion craft using BW version and printing on construction paper

During chapel last week the story was Daniel in the Lion’s Den, so I wanted to make some type of lion craft to go with it.  Since I only have my students three mornings a week I try to combine skills whenever possible, so I combined the Bible story with the shapes theme for this craft.  I made two printables for this activity.  One is made in color so you can just print it out and then cut.  The other is in black and white so that you can print it on color paper.  I printed mine on construction paper.  The black and white version has several triangles to choose from for the nose; I am still perfecting my triangle drawing capabilities in GIMP and was not quite satisfied with several of them.  My students liked being able to choose a triangle for themselves.

Color Lion Printable  part one   part two

Black and White Lion Printable  part one   part two

During centers time we used some roads in shape form from Making Learning Fun.  I printed out the four main shapes we were learning and laminated them.

Source: makinglearningfun.com via Laura on Pinterest

Through Pinterest I also discovered a printable story retelling set for Mouse Shapes, which I somehow ended up with two copies of from the local library after searching fruitlessly through two book stores. We also sang several shapes songs, including ones that were posted on my walls.



For our letter of the week, I brought in the crocheted letters that I made, taught them the ASL sign for the letters, and wrote the letter on our white boards. We have a few worksheets that our school gives us to use and then I discovered a few things to use on my own. I read aloud (with a refrain for the students) a poem, “Little Lovely Lambs” which I found through Scholastic. We also used a couple of activities from Raising Rock Stars Preschool, including the minibook and words that begin with L sheet.



I know there is plenty more that I jammed into the week, including sponge painting with our four main shapes, a sensory bin of pasta and the shape blocks I found on clearance at the Target Dollar Spot, and our alphabet exercise cards. For more ideas for shapes, please check out my Colors and Shapes board on Pinterest. Many alphabet ideas can be found on my Alphabet Pinterest board as well.


If you download my lion craft, please let me know.  I would also love to see your creations with it.  Also, if you are interested in the crocheted letters, let me know or check out my crochet patterns page for more information.  I sell both the patterns and the finished product.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

We started our week with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and illustrated by Eric Carle.  I shared two versions of the story, the one pictured and an older version with a mother instead of a teacher and different illustrations.  I found clipart from Kidsparkz to make into magnet to put up on the easel while telling the story.  I had made this set before realizing my easel at school was NOT magnetic, so I had to bring in my kids’ easel to use for this week.  I also had a matching puzzle set available during centers time to match heads and tails as well as to put the story in order.  Another Brown Bear center was a roll and color sheet from Making Learning Fun.

Centers time also included a fishing for colored fish game.  I made the fish with my Cricut and laminated them before attaching a paper clip to each.  Students had to name the color as they caught the fish.  We also used the colored pasta bin from last week and sorted pasta by color.

Freight Train

Another book we read this week was Freight Train by Donald Crews.  I printed out color cards and hid them around the room, giving my students the instructions to find six cards.  Once they found six, they had to put each card on the construction paper train car that was the same color.  I noticed that a few kids had problems with a couple cards, so made a note of that to make sure I review colors especially with those students in the coming weeks.

Mouse Paint

Our main book for Friday was Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  I also found a set of printables from Kizclub to make into magnets for retelling this story.  After reading the story and using the magnets, we used a printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler to work on mixing paint colors.  We first painted the red mouse with a paintbrush that had a red handle.  Once finished, I took the red handled brushes and handed out yellow ones and yellow paint to paint the yellow mouse.  Then I took those and handed out orange brushes but no paint, asking the students how we could get orange paint.  We then mixed the yellow and red to make orange.  We continued in this pattern without too many mice getting painted the wrong color or too many colors mixed together that should not have been.  Once finished with the mice I gave them each a sheet of blank paper to paint as they pleased and to mix the rest of their paint to experiment.

During the whole week we worked on making a Colors book.  The book was the size of half a sheet of construction paper, with a different color for each page.  Students glued on the appropriate color word (printed in the color it said) as well as an object that color.  For example, the red item was an apple, blue was a butterfly, and so forth.  This involved matching colors, practice in using glue sticks, cutting skills (cutting out the items), and allowed me to see if the students recognized whether they were gluing their words on right side up or upside down.

There were several other interesting color ideas that I just did not have time to do that you can check out on my Colors and Shapes Pinterest board.  If you check that out, you will also get a peek at some of the ideas I have in mind for next week’s Shapes theme.  We will also be working with the Letter L and Number 1.

A peak at my students' Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree craft

The first week of preschool has come and gone.  I am quite pleased with how it went, although I feel bad that one of my students was sick all week and unable to come.  Hopefully I will have all of my students this week.  I thought I would share the favorite activities that I discovered online (and especially through Pinterest.)

I decided to use the Making Smart Choices at School book that I found through Pinterest on the first day of school.  We did the pocket chart cards by just taping them on my easel since I don’t have a pocket chart other than my calendar right now.  Later in the day the kids glued the smaller version onto a sheet to take home, which made for a good way to talk about how to use glue sticks.

For centers this week I dyed pasta (some that I had gotten a great deal on with coupons but did not care for when cooked.)  You can find some information about pasta coloring here.  I hid the letters from an alphabet puzzle in the bin with the pasta for the students to find and finish the puzzle.  This gave me a good idea of how familiar my students are with puzzles and the alphabet as I observed their strategies for completing the activity.  A second center involved cut up pool noodles that were strung onto clothesline.  On the final day of this center we even tried doing AB patterns and most kids were very successful with the pattern, which was awesome.  Another center involved cutting strips of paper between the stickers.  It was interesting to see which kids would want to just cut and cut and cut in this center.  It also helped me see which kids would need some more instruction on holding scissors, especially when I challenged them on the last day of the week with a bigger sheet of paper instead of strips.

One of our books for this past week was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  We read the big book twice, made a special snack with graham crackers, apple slices, and Scrabble Cheez its,  and did a craft similar to this one.  For our snack, I gave the kids two apple slices, one long piece of graham cracker (4 crackers), and a handful of Cheez its.  We did not use anything for coconuts for our snack.

I will attempt to get some photos of my classroom and the centers to add to this post tomorrow.  Somehow even though I brought the camera two of three days I only remembered to grab a shot of my bulletin board and my students to add to the bulletin board.

This week our theme is Colors.  What are your preschoolers doing this week?

Preschool Train theme bulletin board

All Aboard The Preschool Express

Preschool finally started this week.  Last week seemed to be never ending with many hours spent in my classroom and at home in the evenings trying to get everything prepared.  I thought I had a plan for my bulletin board, but then I went to my first meeting of the year and saw two other teachers had already put up a bulletin board with that theme, so I had to start from scratch.  I spent some time wandering through Pinterest and then searching through Google and found a couple ideas to inspire me.  Not sure what I searched on Google, but I did pin them here:  All Aboard! and Kindergarten Express.

To make the board I used a standard size piece of construction paper for each train car.  I used one of my older daughter’s craft toys to cut a 4 by 4 inch window in each sheet.  The teaching assistant was kind enough to cut the circles from the Ellison die cut tool.  I cut a triangle to make the cattle pusher on the front.  I took photos of my students today and Monday to put in each of the train car windows.  At first I planned to have a photo of myself as the train engineer, but then I gained another student, so now one of my student’s photos is in black car.  (Yes, I only have six students, but I have a tiny room, no windows, and a “floating assistant” to balance out the small number of students.)

I had some fun making letters from other letters since I did not have enough L or H cut out letters in the pack to make my whole title.  I used a border with colors on it since we are reviewing colors next week and this bulletin board will be up then as well.  We also plan to read Freight Train next week as well, which will go well with the train themed board.  I kind of wish there were train tracks on the board, but sometimes time gets away from you and you just go with the general theme.  No one has mentioned the lack of tracks or the unlikely grade for the train yet, so no worries.

Counting Cookies

Counting Cookies











I really have been working on crochet projects. I just cannot seem to get motivated to completely finish them. These Counting Cookies look finished; however, I decided that they really need a container. So now I am contemplating what kind of container I want to create for them. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I am thinking that I don’t want to go for the huge cookie jar idea or the loose drawstring bag. I am thinking more of a container in which they fit only if put in neatly.

Christmas Ornament Ball

Holly and Ivy Christmas Ornament












In the meantime, I have been making Christmas ornaments. The tutorial can be found on my blog; I had discovered it elsewhere online a few years ago and have since lost the link. I seem to find myself making these in July; perhaps because they help me wind down from busy days with my kids and since I have made them many times they do not require too much thought once I have chosen the paper and ribbon. For more of my ornaments, please check out my Artfire studio’s Handmade Christmas section.