I Teach K! Treasure Hunt Pictures

Do you like to hunt for teacher treasure at conferences??  I do!

One of my favorite things to do at educational conferences is to go into the rooms where different people are presenting, and look at all of the goodies and gadgets that they have displayed there.  Then I search for the very best ones, and take pictures of them!  I like to call this process my "Treasure Hunt," because it is often like looking for buried treasure amongst all of the things that they have set up.  And, just like Pinterest, a picture is often worth a thousand words!  So it is often possible to just look at what they have on display for all of their sessions and instantly just "know" what they are going to say about it!  It is the quickest way to get new ideas that I know of.  Sometimes, there are just as many great ideas in the exhibit hall as well.  Here are a few pictures of the treasures that I found at I Teach K last week!  I hope you enjoy them!

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!

Vanessa Levin was displaying her brand new book, called A Fabulous First Year and Beyond.  She even gave me a free copy of it and it looks like a wonderful resource!  If you are familiar with her blog and website, Pre-K Pages, then you already know that she is an absolute WEALTH of information.  Since Vanessa is a Pre-K expert, she is my "go-to" person when I am out of ideas for remedial students.

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

This is another one of Vanessa Levin's ideas that I saw on her display table.  She did not mention it in the session that I sat in on, but my assumption is that you would have the children roll the car in the direction that they should write the letter.  Love that!

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

This is a neat little manipulative to use when teaching the more and less symbol!  There is a book that goes with it, too.  You can flip it either direction; it is printed on both sides.

The Alfie Alligator book is in the middle of the display.

As I am looking at their website, it looks like the little manipulative above is sold with it, and you get 22 of them along with the book!  Looking at the picture now, I think I should have taken a better look at her Fact Family book.  (I deliberately try NOT to look at picture books any more because I have more of them in my classroom than I have time to read in a given school year- or maybe TWO school years!!!)  Do you think that there is such a thing as an addiction to picture books?

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.

Julie Brinkley also had this cute little barn and farm animal workstation set out as well.  And by now, you are probably wondering if this wonderful person has a website or blog!  And the answer is.... I don't know!!!!  If anyone knows, please leave a comment and I will add her link to my blog here!

----Newsflash!  Stacy just left a comment below with Julie Brinkley's blog, and here it is:  MrsBrinkleysKindergarten.blogspot.com.  Thanks so much, Stacy!----

Follow me! Did you enjoy this post? Do me a favor and share it with your friends!  And follow this blog by signing up for my email updates, or follow on Bloglovin', or follow me on TPT!  I'm also on PinterestFacebookTwitter, InstagramGoogle+ and YouTube, too!  Don't forget to sign up for our email newsletter (at the bottom of this page) for special deals and promo codes that you won't find out about anywhere else.


Thanks for the shout(s) out Heidi, it was great to see you in Las Vegas!

I put clear packing tape on the top of the Ziploc baggies with food coloring and hair gel. I found the clear hair gel at the Dollar Tree. 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. See you in Missouri!

Stacy said…
Julie does have a blog, it is Mrsbrinkleyskindergarten.blogspot.com.
Stacy said…
Just want to say that Julie does have a blog at mrsbrinkleyskindergarten.blogspot.com.
Isabel Z said…
Thank you so much for taking the time to share such wonderful goodies. I teach preschool but so enjoy looking at kindergarten teachers blogs for ideas and inspiration. You all are the best!
Heidi, I have all the those books and I have the fact family one. Her books are amazing. I have used them for several years in my classroom and the kids love them!!!
Anonymous said…
About the jeep and Army guys-they would be wonderful around Veteran's Day to extend that theme into the math area.
Anonymous said…
I love the jeep and army men activity too but I wonder with the Army men having weapons if that would be a problem?
Unknown said…
Does having the army men ever cause a problem with having weapons?
Julie said…
What a perfectly wonderful way to start my Friday! A dear friend text me to tell me that Heidi Butkus came to my session! What an honor and your kind words are such a blessing to me. I am a newbie to SDE as a presenter so your encouragement means a lot! I promise to be a better blogger this year...with a focus on my Math Centers. I must say I was in the audience of Guided Drawing and can't to use your wonderful techniques. If I am fortunate enough to return to SDE as a presenter or an attendee I will make a point to meet you Miss Heidi!
Anonymous said…
Heidi, thanks for sharing your fabulous finds from the conference. It's my dream to go, but it's not in my budget yet, so I appreciate you sharing!

I have been using Vanessa's hair gel bags in my classroom for a long time. The students LOVE it! Vanessa, you always have super ideas. Make sure you teach the students to use the pads of their fingers, NOT THEIR NAILS, or the bags can rip open (think razor blade, but it depends on how the child has been groomed.) We had an accident/learning experience my first year. Of course, my little sweetie tried to carry the broken bag to the trash can, but it made a mess. Haven't had an issue since:)
I love the idea of using a gumball machine to teach sight words. What a great find!
Carol said…
Hi! I like the hair gel baggie idea- gotta make some of those!
Mrs. Cobb's Kinder Sprouts
beth said…
I thought I left a comment on last weeks post...guess not..I was so excited to see me and you on your blog!!!! I am going to frame that picture and put it up in my classroom. My students always ask if you are real and now I have a picutre of us together!!! I loved going to all your sessions there! I also took a ton of pictures and want to make some of the ideas that I saw at the conference!!! I better get started since I start school in 8 days! EEK!!!!
HeidiSongs said…
As far as the army guys and the weapons- well, I don't know! I had some little army men in my classroom last year, and the only problem I had with them was that they wound up thrown everywhere after each playtime, and got mixed up with all of the other toys! The weapon aspect was never an issue. The little guys are so small that it wasn't like any one was trying to use them to play pretend guns or anything like that- at least, not in my room.

To Beth:
I thought that I had published the comment that you posted last week! Did it not go up? If not, I'm sorry about that! It was really fun to meet you in person. Hopefully that won't be the last time!
Corinne said…
The picture/activity of Alfie the Alligator, from Helps4Teachers.com, would go great with Ron Brown's (http://www.intelli-tunes.com) math song The Number Eating Alligator (which my kinders loved this year and was easy to incorporate first with five frames, then with ten frames).
beachliesl said…
Oh, Heidi...I found the gumball machine last year in Las Vegas...and I posted about it too...


I haven't seen it once at the dollar stores, so I'm feeling much better this time around!


Popular posts from this blog

Phonics Coloring Worksheets for Word Families! (Freebies!)

Games to Play with Kindergartners LIVE on Google Meet or Zoom

5 Ways to Teach Odd and Even Numbers!

New! Handmotion Posters to Supplement the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Program!

Lessons About Fire: An Experiment With Candles

Consequences That Teach Better Behavior (Instead of Punish)

Teaching Phoneme Segmentation: Separating Sounds in Words (Freebies!)

Tips for Teaching the Alphabet to Struggling Learners

Creepy Carrots: A Free Halloween Craftivity!

Writing Rubrics for Young Children: Documenting Progress with Portfolio Assessment