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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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State Study, Chore Chart, Baking and Crafts….

I cannot quite believe everything we did this first week of summer.

State Study

We started our study of the 50 states with our state passports that we found on Musings of Me’s blog.  We decided to use card stock as a cover and back to the passport.  The pages had to be stapled in sections since it was so thick so our passports have a bit of an accordian look to them right now.  (I will attempt to get my daughter’s camera to speak with my computer this evening for some added photos.)  We started our study with Virginia on Monday, since that is the state where we live.  We moved on to West Virginia on Tuesday and Kentucky on Wednesday.  After that, the week got a bit nutty and we took off for a couple days and did Tennessee today.

If you check out my United States theme board on Pinterest you can see some of the places and books that I am using for this project.  I am trying to give my kids information in different ways each time so that they don’t just get the same worksheet to fill out every day about a different state.

Chore Chart

We also started our summer chore chart, thanks to Confessions of a Homeschooler and a pocket chart calendar that I picked up on clearance a while back when I was not sure whether I would receive one with my preschool classroom. The girls have really gotten into earning tickets, although they don’t necessarily put the chore cards on the spots I planned. Mostly they look at the chore cards for ideas of what to do. My youngest really wanted some of those tiny toys in the little balls, so I told her 10 tickets earns one. She has been pretty good this week about earning 10 tickets in a day so she can earn a toy. On the other hand, my oldest has been saving hers and cashed in to get $1 for spending at the craft store on a pretty blank notebook. She is still holding some tickets to cash in to attend the $1 movies next week.

Other places I found with printable chore cards include:

Aussie Pumpkin Patch — new design here, less detailed ones I printed some of the less detailed ones after reducing them in size so they would fit in the pockets of my chart.

Homeschool Creations — a simpler chore chart with cards


Banana Bread Recipe from this book

We made two loaves of bread machine bread this week.  The first loaf was a requested banana bread for my youngest, who helped measure everything and was a little disappointed to find out that the machine mixes everything for us.  We chose a recipe for Banana Poppyseed bread, but left out the poppy seeds.

The second loaf yesterday was almost a disaster.  We decided to make whole wheat raisin bread from the recipe book that came with our machine, partly because we were out of bread flour and only had whole wheat to use.  When it came time to add the raisins I hit the start/stop button for some reason after my youngest put the raisins in, which turned off the machine.  I then saved the loaf by kneading it a bit, letting it rise, and then finishing it in the oven.  It probably could have had some more time rising before I put it in the oven, but the girls were more than happy with the results.


We travelled to two craft stores this week for free craft activities.  I managed to get out of them with only one purchase.

ACMoore has a weekly free craft on Wednesdays all summer from three to five in the afternoon. For this week it was supposed to be CARS related stickers, but the craft person was kind enough to get out some leftovers from other times so the girls could decorate a framed chalk board with glittery stickers.

Michaels has an around the world themed (mostly) free craft on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays this summer.  We attended the Germany and Egypt themed crafts at Michaels.  The girls decorated a jingle bell with paint markers and put a bow on top for Germany.  My oldest also made a German hat with feather.  For Egypt they made mummies from a clothespin and strips of white tissue paper, along with googly eyes.  They used some terra cotta Model Magic to do some heiroglyphics and a pyramid.

We also created some crafts at home.  I discovered this yarn doll tutorial via Pinterest and shared it with my girls.  We now have probably 20 or more yarn dolls of various sizes and colors that are being used in elaborate pretend play games.


I almost forgot that we planted some sunflower and tomato seeds that I received as a thank you from the kindergarten teacher and assistant for volunteering every Thursday morning this year.  We now have seedlings that are almost ready to move into larger homes.  Now, where to put them?



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Hibiscus pink

I just receive a hibiscus plant as an end of year gift from one of my students. Since I have not had a hibiscus plant before I pulled out the two gardening books I have in my library and looked up a little about them. I then discussed some options with my husband. I think we have figured out the best spot, which is empty due to a dogwood that succumbed to some sort of disease a couple years ago. It seems these plants need sun and moisture, so hopefully the front yard with some drainage from the gutter will help it thrive.

I am not positive which variety of hibiscus we have since the one bloom on it closed up last night, just before my student brought it in today, so I look forward to seeing the bud on top opening up soon. (I found the photograph above in the wikipedia commons area.)

Rose of sharon 2
UPDATE: After looking for some other photographs I realize that my parents had a type of hibiscus called a Rose of Sharon (shown above) when I was growing up in West Virginia.

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insect visitor

Praying Mantis on Marigolds

My preschooler discovered this little visitor on our front stoop, apparently protecting our plants from other insects. We seem to get baby praying mantises every year near our front door. I think they like the bushes near the door. Unfortunately the mosquitoes tend to like the bushes as well. Be sure to click the photo for a close up of our tiny visitor.

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