|Do you like to hunt for teacher treasure at conferences?? I do!|
|Gumball Machine from Helps4Teachers.com|
I found this plastic gumball machine in the exhibit hall at the Helps 4 Teachers booth for $6.99! The exhibitor is a teacher who created a bunch of neat things and then wound up selling them, much like myself. She took sight words and printed them out very small, and used Mod Podge to stick them onto little rock-like jewels. The children are supposed to push the button to get a few jewels out and then write the words on their papers. However, I noticed that you don't just get one jewel at a time with this gumball machine; you get several, depending on how long you hold down the handle. So I was thinking of perhaps using this one as a math center and having the children count the number of jewels that came out. Otherwise, they might only get to push it once and then have to write five words! I love the idea, though, and I will be on the lookout for a "real" gumball machine that takes pennies and dispenses the jewels one at a time. You can purchase this gumball machine here.
|I Have, Who Has game from Julie Brinkley.|
I saw these "I Have, Who Has" cards in Julie Brinkley's room after her session on math workstations. (It was great, by the way!) I really like the idea of using pictures and names to introduce this type of game to the children. I had never thought of this before!
|Vanessa Levin's New Book, and My Alphabet Action Book!|
|Electronic Dice from Helps4Teachers.com|
I fell in love with these electronic dice from the Helps4Teachers.com booth! The only thing is that you have to take the dice and kind of slam them down on the table to activate them, rather than just roll them, for some reason. I had some electronic dice like these for a few years back and the kids just loved them! I was sad when the batteries ran out; that's why I bought another pair.
|Vanessa Levin's Car and Letter Idea|
|Vanessa also had some of these cards on display.|
It reminds me of a similar idea that Vanessa had on display from MakingLearningFun.com, in which you print out the letters and roll cars along them in the same way. The letters are printed with roads down the middle of them. They are really cute- and it's a FREE download! (But watch out- it takes a lot of ink, and the ink is NOT free!) The way I first heard about it, though, was that the children were supposed to make the letter sound as they rolled the car along the letter.
---- Newsflash!!! Vanessa just left a comment below regarding these letter cards that I thought would be helpful for you to know: "On the MakingLearningFun.com race car alphabet letters I added sticker dots, green for where they should start and red for when they should stop their car. This helps with proper letter formation and imprints in their muscle memory as they "drive" their cars across the letters."----
|Oh, look! What interesting looking DVD's and CD's from HeidiSongs!!!|
Of course, it is always fun to go take a peek at my own CD's and DVD's in the exhibit hall and see how it looks all on display! I remember the first time I saw my name on the display... what a thrill!
|Alfie the Alligator, also from Helps4Teachers.com|
|The Alfie Alligator book is in the middle of the display.|
|Clear hair gel plus food coloring: irresistible!|
Okay, I know what you're thinking: this hair gel in a baggie idea is nothing new. But I have never actually FELT it before, and I have to tell you, it's irresistible! This baggie was on Vanessa Levin's display table, and I couldn't stop touching it and drawing things on it. What fun! I am inspired; I'm going to have to implement this idea next year!!! I understand that they sell hair gel at the Dollar Store, too, so it shouldn't cost much. My only concern is that I think it might be hard to keep the kids from opening up the bags.... The idea, of course, is that they should be writing letters, numbers, and shapes on the baggies. Sounds good to me!
---NEWSFLASH! Vanessa just left a comment below about how she avoids children opening up the bags: she seals the tops of them with packing tape. Thanks for the tip, Vanessa!---
This is a jeep and army men counting workmat from Julie Brinkley's session on math workstations! I think that the boys would go crazy for this!
Here is another one of her workstations that I thought was very clever!!! I like the idea of using recycled materials for children to count with, too.
|Here is a barn and farm animal workstation.|
----Newsflash! Stacy just left a comment below with Julie Brinkley's blog, and here it is: MrsBrinkleysKindergarten.blogspot.com. Thanks so much, Stacy!----
I will share more ideas with you next week. For now, I'm off to Alabama for the Alabama Kindergarten Association Conference! I am so honored that they invited me to come speak! I have been wanting to come to their conference for many years, so I am looking forward to it. After that, I am flying directly to Missouri for SDE's Kindergarten Conference in Osage Beach! I will actually have an extra day there to enjoy the Ozarks and look around a little bit! AND I'll have a rental car! So I am excited to have a wee bit of time for fun as well. If you are going to be at either of these places, then I'll see you soon!