7 Must Have Books In Your Atelier

7 Must-Have Books In Your Atelier

“A True Artist is Not One That is Inspired, But One Who Inspires Others.” ~ Salvador Dali Inspiring children to be creative and express their curiosities about the world with the language of art materials is magical! While there are so many truly inspiring books about...
Must Read Books for Self Portraits

3 Must Read Books When Preparing for Self-Portraits

I wanted to share with you three books to inspire children during the creation of self-portraits. TIPS for using these books: Read a couple pages per day and focus on a unique trait or aspect of self Explore a medium - using our creativity to find objects to represent...

Hand Sewing for Literacy

When I decided to attend a NAEYC session on sewing with young children - I had no idea I would walk into a session with an author I love! In her book "Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make" I had adored the simple but highly engaging projects like...
Story Stones Fairy Dust Teaching

Make Your Own Story Stones

Story Stones are a great way to get students excited about story telling and they are surprisingly easy to make! Materials Needed: Stones A variety of stickers Modge Podge Paint Brush Small container to pour the Modge Podge in (this is optional) *I purchased all of my...
Creating a Literacy Rich Environment Fairy Dust

Creating a Literacy Rich Environment

Creating a literacy rich environment can be a teacher's strongest tool that sets the stage for student success all year long. What is a literacy rich environment? An environment where children are exposed to and offered multiple ways to interact with: letters, books,...

7 Must-Have Books In Your Atelier

“A True Artist is Not One That is Inspired, But One Who Inspires Others.” ~ Salvador Dali Inspiring children to be creative and express their curiosities about the world with the language of art materials is magical! While there are so many truly inspiring books about...

read more

3 Must Read Books When Preparing for Self-Portraits

I wanted to share with you three books to inspire children during the creation of self-portraits. TIPS for using these books: Read a couple pages per day and focus on a unique trait or aspect of self Explore a medium - using our creativity to find objects to represent...

read more

Hand Sewing for Literacy

When I decided to attend a NAEYC session on sewing with young children - I had no idea I would walk into a session with an author I love! In her book "Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make" I had adored the simple but highly engaging projects like...

read more

Make Your Own Story Stones

Story Stones are a great way to get students excited about story telling and they are surprisingly easy to make! Materials Needed: Stones A variety of stickers Modge Podge Paint Brush Small container to pour the Modge Podge in (this is optional) *I purchased all of my...

read more

Creating a Literacy Rich Environment

Creating a literacy rich environment can be a teacher's strongest tool that sets the stage for student success all year long. What is a literacy rich environment? An environment where children are exposed to and offered multiple ways to interact with: letters, books,...

read more

Firstie Friday ~ Sight Word Tic Tac Toe

It is so strange to me that I have a first grader. When I taught first grade, my students seemed so big! Now that I have a first grader of my own, I can hardly believe how small they really were. My kiddo struggles with sight words so I have searched high and low for...

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BAM! – A Simple Sight Word Game

It seems as though I woke up one morning and I was suddenly a mom of a Kindergartener! What? How did this happen? Where is the time going? One minute he's a playful PreK student coming home with dirt in his hair and paint on his hands. The next he's coming home with...

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The Sound Tile System: It is MAGIC!

I want share a real literacy jewel. This is an easy and economical system to set up. It can be used in multiple ways. I have combined two approaches to create a highly effective small group reading activity. The system originates from a book called "Right Track...

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A Peek into the 100th Day of School: Freebies

We began the day with the "collection of 100" each student brought to school.  I put out a large black construction paper for each student to display their collection.  I like using black as it really showcases the collection.  I used to have the children glue down...

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Math Gnomes: Plus

I think Waldorf Math Gnomes are one of the most magical ways to introduce the math processes!  It all begins with a story! Once, a long time ago, there lived a Gnome King.  He loved the jewels found deep in the earth and asked for special helpers to fill his treasure...

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I like Myself Project

This is a project from one of my colleagues - Jennifer Dean.  Her documentation of the project is so well done - I can let it do the talking. . .                 Thank you Jennifer for sharing your wonderful...

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Jewel Sight Words, Part 2

There are so many things you can do with Sight Word/Alphabet Jewels.  I wanted to share a bit of my process. . . First, for emergent readers you MUST check LaDonna Wicklund's I Can Read Songs.  I highly recommend these materials.  She has a very engaging DVD with...

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Easy Peasy Letter & Sight Word Jewels

I love making special gems and jewels to help motivate my students to learn critical skills like letters, letter sounds and sight words (see method here).  But my original method was way too time consuming.  I needed easy peasy.  I had a bag of those big sparkly...

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Who is that Mystery Reader?

I love having "Mystery Readers" and it has been an important part of my classroom for years.  There is nothing more exciting to a student than to have a family member read to the class.   I did not think it could get any better until I started working with my...

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~Fairy Tale Magic ~

Me oh my!  How magical fairy tales are as a curriculum organizer.   It still amazes me how well the fairy tales carry all the major facets of curriculum.  Take a peek at my Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Click on image to view a larger version. I have sought out and...

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Easy DIY Name Center

I saw this idea in one of my colleague's rooms and loved it at first sight. It is so simple and super cheap to make.  It is a great letter matching game and the clothespins help build fine motor skills. What you will need: a couple packages of clothespins a sharpie...

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Alphabet Play

This is a lovely idea I saw in my colleague Kati's classroom.  I had to make one for my class and share it with you.  It is easy to set up.  Put the printed pages into page protectors and slip into a binder.  (I have included a cover for the binder.) You will need the...

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Storytelling in Blocks

Oh my word!  I was so excited to discover a lost thumb drive with photos from my classroom in 2007-2008.   I thought I had lost all of my photos when my first laptop crashed.   My daughter found a random thumb drive and . . . well . . . a treasure trove of photos! One...

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DIY Clipboards

I don't know about you but I love having a clipboard for every child in my class but holy moly that can get expensive! Well, I ran into someone  (Stacy)  who came up with a DIY version and I couldn't wait to share the goodness! WHAT YOU WILL NEED: bulldog clips or...

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Elves and the Shoemaker

This is one of my favorite Holiday stories.  It highlights the gift of giving without expecting a return for your generosity. Here are some key hands-on links to tie into your learning stations. (Click on yellow links for instructions).  These are very engaging...

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Gingerbread Baby Goes Around the World!

I love this idea!  Susan, from River Bliss, has the Gingerbread Baby go around the world.  Susan explains, "Throughout the month of December, we receive a letter, postcard, or email nearly every day from the gingerbread baby telling us about various multicultural...

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Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

 “Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”  [Fox, M. (2001). Reading Magic. San Diego,...

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Free Storytelling Cards – Three Pigs

I am so excited to share a free set of storytelling cards for the story of The Three Pigs.  This set includes word cards as well.  To access this free set - go to the Fairy Dust Teaching Facebook page!...

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5 Great “Where the Wild Things Are” Ideas

Who doesn't just love "Where the Wild Things Are"? This is a wonderful book to bring a good dose of art. Just watch the story come alive in your classroom. . . IDEA #1:  Wild Things Cardboard Tube Puppets For more information go to: Funderberg  IDEA #2:  Have a Wild...

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The Never Ending Story. . . .

Here is a little gold nugget I use in my classroom.  I tell an ongoing story that lasts all year long.  It is a simple tale about a Mother, a Father, a Sister, a Brother, a Cat and a Dog.  I do not use names - just Mother, Mom, Father, Dad, etc. - as using these terms...

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Fictional Bears vs. Real Bears

One of the strong impulses of the Common Core Standards is the use of non-fiction reading.  When I work with the fairy tales like the Three Bears - I think it is a wonderful opportunity to compare real bears vs. the three bears.  We research bears by reading...

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Free Emergent Readers for the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears!

Woot!  I am so excited! I am going to start sharing some of my favorite fairy tale resources. It is going to be a stampede of freebies! These are print-ables that I have created for my classroom use.  These are for your personal use and may not be resold. Here are my...

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Mystery Readers!

At Back to School Night - I always have a Mystery Reader Sign-up.  This is one of those ideas that if you aren't doing it - you should start this year!  A Mystery Reader is a surprise visit from a family member (moms, dads, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts,...

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It’s an interview! It’s about Fairy Tales!

I am so excited to share a podcast of Melitsa from Raising Playful Tots interviewing me about storytelling!  She was so great.  I was not feeling well that day so I was a little nervous about how it would sound.  Melitsa is so artful in her capacity to interview - it...

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The Plate Stories (It’s Math!)

My best ideas come in the face of disengaged children.  That happened a few weeks ago.  The children were restless and I knew that my math lesson was a real yawner.   On a whim, I told the children to pull out their white boards and dry erase markers. I demonstrated...

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“ake” Word Family Art Project

I know I have posted this before but it is so worth posting again.  I did it a bit differently this time.  It is a "Suzi McMahan" project I love!  And better yet, the kindergartners love it!  Word families are great for young readers as it helps the children find...

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Celebrating New Siblings

I know most of you probably do something like this or even something more elaborate.  But I think it is always fun to share ideas.  Here is what I do -- I would love to hear about what you do!   Cole is becoming a brother for the first time tomorrow so we made him a...

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Drawing + Word Work

I think it was five or six years ago that I went out to San Francisco to visit my BFF Mimi. Her daughter, Fifi, attended an arts based charter school and her kindergarten teacher welcomed me into his classroom for the day. As the children arrived, they would draw the...

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Book Buddies!

Every year I go to a local book fair at Holland Hall School.  I load up on the best stuffed animals and books for a very reasonable price.  I use them to make book buddies.  This year while piling up my stuffed animals - I had a great idea.  Why not buy tote bags and...

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Green Eggs and Ham Writing Project

One of my colleagues, Amber Hatch, (who is a talented curriculum designer) came up with the best idea.  (And it is super easy!)  The children made their own "green" egg.  Each child wrote "I do not like. . ." and a food they do not like using kid-writing.   Love this...

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Dr. Seuss Snacks!

This week we are celebrating Dr. Seuss.  Everyday I have a snack that the children can "make" that is related to Dr. Seuss.  It has been a huge hit!  All of them are super easy - that is my requirement!  The negative side is the sugary nature of the snacks.  Oh well,...

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George Washington

This week we have the coolest book sharing!  One of my students was an artist model for the book, "George Washington: Our Founding Father."  His mother came to school Tuesday and read the book to the class -- keeping the secret until the end. Click on book to go to...

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Oh how I love Heart Garlands!

I love, love, love the joy of a heart garland.  Aren't they divine?  I found several worth sharing on the internet.  There are a few very creative ideas for making garlands.  My kinders love making garlands.  What a lovely thing to do during centers. . . When I saw...

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Skyscapers and the Astonishing Philippe Petit

I read the book "The Man Who Walked Between Towers" by Mordicai Gerstein to my kindergarten class.  It is the story of Philippe Petit, a tight rope walker, who walked between the Twin Towers in 1974.  I read the story first.  (Warning, I tear-up at the end every time....

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Domino Math

I set up this math activity as a workstation this week.  I found a great free download at this blog:  http://firstgradeschoolbox.blogspot.com/ What you need: Print the worksheet off from First Grade School Box (link above) Dominos TIP:  I told my kinders that they...

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Hands-On Addition!

This is so easy to do with existing manipulatives in your home or classroom.  I put a different manipulative set in each group (see photos).  I print and laminate an "Addition Mat" for each child.  We began with the number five and are working through the number 10 to...

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My Silly Whacky Word Machine

I do not know how nonsense word practice goes for you (if you, too, are a part of the DIBELS parade) but some years my kinders can't wrap their brains around it.  (I have very mixed feelings about how appropriate this is, as well.)  This year - I have a group of...

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4 Great Sight Word Activities

Here are four great ideas for reinforcing the basic kindergarten sight words.  All the ideas include some element of fun - something very important! Here is a great dice game for sight words. My kinders LOVE dice games. To download go to Learning With Mrs. Parker...

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All About Vowels

Here is a great game to play for identifying the vowel in a CVC word. Each child has a laminated strip of vowels and a clothespin. I say a CVC word like "cat." The children listen and then put their clothespin on the vowel they hear in the CVC word. What is so great...

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The Sight Word Wallet

This is a simple and fun way to encourage and celebrate sight word knowledge!   It is a whole lot easier than the sight word gems!   I went to a Dr. Jean workshop and came back with a bunch of good ideas! This is one of them! The "wallet" is made out of a simple piece...

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Gingerbread Man Word Family Slider

Kindergartners love word family sliders! It is such fun! This one is very easy to make. What you need: Print out the gingerbread man below.  I print it on brown construction paper.  I cut the construction paper down to 8 1/2 x 11 and feed it into the copier through...

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Free Thanksgiving Download

This is a quick and easy project. I wanted something the children could take home and put out to share what they are thankful for. I made two simple black lines and then copied them on colored paper. Simple. I love the clothespins.  I think there are a lot more...

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Rhyming Bags – Free Download

Happy Saturday everyone!  Do you have methods of making show-n-share educational?  It does my teacher heart good.  To bring educational value to a simple toy is pure joy! This is the best homework.  Honestly.  Simple and effective.  What you need is a package of brown...

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The “en” Word Family

This is a great Little Red Hen project that I first saw my friend, Mrs. McCain do in her class.  It is excellent tracing and cutting practice as well as the word family work.  I love to see how the children embellish the hens with details.  I prepare brown paper with...

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Helping Hands

One of the most powerful lessons inside the story of the Little Red Hen is helping others.   I have homework  where the children take on a chore at home for a full week.  Every child who completes the full week of doing a chore - receives a Little Red Hen Helping Hand...

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