Author Archives: Kristen Poindexter

Science Aprons

If you’ve been reading my blog for anytime at all, you know how much I like {ok–LOVE} science!! I was thrilled to be able to create some cute aprons for my students to wear when we “do” science experiments! They were super easy and quick to make and each one of my students will get to wear one each time we are investigating.

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Check them out here and be sure to check out the book, “What is a Scientist?” to use to introduce science to your students!

 

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Super Fun in a Super Science Test Tube!

There’s a TON of science and sensory learning packed into these terrific tubes! Using a few simple materials, you can create your own super fun in a tube! Check out these simple and exciting science and sensory learning tubes I created!

Source: Super Fun in a Super Science Test Tube!

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Chick Cam 2016

We were so lucky to be able to hatch chicken eggs again this year!  In all, we hatched 8 eggs out of 17, so not a bad hatch rate.:)

Each year, its so hard for each of my students to watch a chick hatch in real time, so for the past two years, I’ve put my iPad stand on top of the incubator and prayed that the wifi signal held and that the iPad didn’t fall off, but not this year!

This year, we had the new and improved Chick Cam 2016!! My HUE Document camera!!

It saved the day and made it SUPER easy for ALL of us to be able to see our chicks hatching on the BIG screen, in REAL time, no wifi connection needed and no iPad perched perilously on my incubator!

This set up was SO much better!! Did you enjoy the serenade of “Call Me Maybe” in the background by my sweet kiddos?:)

I just put my HUE Document Camera on top of the incubator, plugged it into my laptop, fired up the HUE Intuition Software (that comes with the Document Camera) and we were in business!

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I loved that each time a chick hatched, I could reposition the HUE Document Camera right over the hatching egg, so we could see everything that was happening in real time!

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Once everyone had hatched, we moved Chick Cam over to the warming box where we watched them be cute and run around! Each one of my kiddos wanted to see what the chicks were doing, every minute of the day, so having the HUE Document Camera set up helped us ALL see what they were doing.  We quickly noticed that the quieter we were, the quieter they were, so it helped us regulate our voices as well!

Did you check out my guest appearance on the HUE blog?  Click here to check it out and get some great ideas from other teachers how to use the HUE Document Camera in your classroom!

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A fun & easy Father’s Day Project using Neon Kwik Stix

Are you looking for a fun and easy Father’s Day project that won’t break the bank?  Check out what my son and I were able to create in about 20 minutes!

We have a tradition in our house that started 11 years ago for my husband’s 2nd Father’s Day.  Each year my son makes him art on canvas, personalized just for him.  He’s painted DAD in so many different ways, that we wanted to do something a little different this year.:)

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We created this one of a kind subway art in just minutes using the NEON Kwik Stix (with a few Metalix Kwik Stix colors thrown in too)!  I’ve told you how much I LOVE the Kwik Stix since I received them at the French Lick Blogger Retreat in March–and I’m still LOVING them!!

All you need to complete this simple project is:

-a blank canvas (we used white, but I bet black would work too!)

-6 pack of NEON Kwik Stix

-6 pack of Metalix Kwik Stix

-pencil

Begin by writing out your words (LIGHTLY!!) with a pencil on your canvas.  I had my son think up words to describe his daddy (Daddy-isms he called them!!) and I transferred as many as I could fit on to the canvas for him.

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Then I set my son to work tracing over my letters.  The Kwik Stix went on smoothly and we loved the texture they left on the canvas!  My son traced over each work twice because he really wanted the words to stand out.

I’ll admit, at first I was a little bothered by my pencil line showing through his tracing–my OCD!, but the more we both looked at it, the more we liked the pencil lines showing through!❤

I just love how it turned out and we are ready to go for Father’s Day!

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We did use a few colors from the Kwik Stix Metalix 6 pack as well, my son liked the sparkle they added to the neon pack and he wanted to try to make every word a different color.:)

The edges on the Kwik Stix made it SO easy for my son to trace the letters and get the color right where he wanted it to be.

Right now The Pencil Grip Inc. is offering a discount on their Kwik Stix and their fabulous Pencil Grips!! You can get 15% off your entire purchase, just use the coupon code YOUWIN15 at checkout!!

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Now it’s your chance to win some Kwik Stix!  Enter this giveaway for your chance to win one 6 pack of NEON Kwik Stix and on 6 pack of PRIMARY Kwik Stik!!

Good Luck!

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Frog Street SPLASH 2016

I am so excited to be a Frog Street SPLASH Ambassador this year!  There are so many other bloggers who I’ve wanted to meet in real life, but haven’t had the chance to yet, so this will be an opportunity to meet SO many of my favorite people!

I can’t wait to get some great PD as well!! Check out all these amazing speakers!

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This will be my first time attending Frog Street SPLASH, so I’ve been asking some friends who have been before to share their experiences with me!

Mrs. Hoffer has some great ideas on what to bring…and Simply Kinder shares her list of things that teachers want to do during the summer (check out #22!!), and Kreative in Life shares her goals for the summer (and one of them is Frog Street SPLASH!!)

Let me know if you’ll be there…it would be great to meet lots of you in person!!

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Flexible Seating

I decided to give flexible seating a try in my classroom this year and I was pleasantly surprised at how much my kiddos and I both loved it!

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I started out by having my students choose individual places to sit around the classroom during our Writer’s Workshop time.  We kept that up for about 4 weeks, until they had the idea that they needed to choose wisely, sit away from someone they might talk with, and to sit an arms distance away from the next person.

We also used our flexible seating options during our Math and Literacy Work Stations.  The children could choose to sit in the chairs as usual, or bring some flexible seating to their work area.

The quality and quantity of work that my students produced went up during this month, so I decided that I would present them with other options to sit on.

I introduced each type of new seating individually, waiting a few days in between until the newness had worn off.  We modeled how to correctly sit in each seating choice and how and when to put it back when we were done sitting in it.

By the time we were done introducing each new type of seating, my students had these choices to choose from:

8 Scoop Chairs (Wal-Mart)

4 Chair Cushions (Wal-Mart-patio section)

2 Camp Chairs (5 Below)

2 Memory Foam Mats (5 Below)

4 Rectangular Bath Mats (Wal-Mart)

3 Adirondack Chairs (Wal-Mart)

4 Outdoor Pillows (Aldi)

6 Wobble Seats (Debbie Clement–www.wobbleseat.com)

If you’re going to try introducing Flexible Seating into your classroom next year, here are a few tips to help you.

  1. Introduce the options over time; weeks even!  It will take time for your students to learn how to use each option and how to put them away.  Make sure you model the right way to use them, carry them, and how and where to put them away.
  2. Make sure you have a class set of clipboards or sturdy writing boards your students can use to finish their work on.  My students made three stops to collect everything they needed; their seat, their clipboard, and their work.
  3. Show your students how to choose wisely when trying to find a place to sit.  Sit near someone you will not talk to, and sit an arms distance away.  They will still be near enough to ask for help from each other, but far enough away to not chat so much.
  4. Don’t give up!  It will take time for you (and them) to learn to manage the responsibility of choosing their own seating!

 

Next year, I’m going to add in some standing height tables and some floor sitting height tables (by raising or lowering the legs on my existing tables).  I still want to keep 1-2 tables as is, for my students who prefer that as well.  I’ll be posting pictures as I make that move in late July!

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The Pencil Grip Winners are…

Congratulations to:

Barb Heitkamp and Lori R.!

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You are the winners of the Pencil Grip Packs!

I’ve e-mailed you both already!:)

You can e-mail me at fuzzlady77@hotmail.com if you don’t get my e-mail.

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The Pencil Grip

One of the other fun things I received at the Spring Blogger Retreat in March were these pencil grips from The Pencil Grip, Inc.  I used them right away with my kiddos and they helped some of my friends A LOT!:)

IMG_2917What I loved most about the three grips that I got to try was that they were marked clearly with an “L” or an “R” to show where my kiddos thumbs should go.  That helped all of us remember how to hold the grips correctly.

I also loved that the grips have “stages“.  The Pencil Grip has some AMAZING downloads available on their site so you can check to see which grip is “write” (hahaha!) for you.  You can also find a chart of correct and incorrect handwriting positions, along with instructions for using the grips correctly.

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This is the “Crossover Grip“.  It REALLY helps to keep those fingers tucked in and in a great position for beginning writers!  I love the “superhero cape” that’s built in and it got my kiddos excited about writing using a grip! I think I’ll have to take some paint pens and draw some superhero logos on the front to really get them going!

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Next up is the “Pinch Grip“.  It works exactly like it sounds; the child pinches the grip and uses that force to help guide their pencil.  It looks a lot like the Crossover Grip; without the cape, but still has those deep pockets, perfect for perfecting proper finger placement.

Last, is the “Original Grip“.  I could tell this is the grip my students felt most comfortable with at this point in the year.  They cranked out names of students in our classroom with no trouble at all!  The Original Grip is perfect for all year use and we use them a lot in my school in Kindergarten to help correct previous writing habits.  You can get these bad boys in original, metallic, neon, and glitter too, so that makes them even more fun!

Now wouldn’t you love to win some grips of your own?  Click the link below and enter away!

Click HERE for the giveaway!

*Please note that this giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only*

I’ll choose the winner on Saturday.:)

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Teacher Appreciation Sale on TPT!

I’m throwing a sale May 3rd and 4th to celebrate all you amazing teachers! My entire store is up to 28% off when you use the code CELEBRATE!!

HUE Document Camera and Flexible Tablet Stand

At the French Lick Blogger meet-up, I was LUCKY enough to win a HUE Flexible Tablet Stand!  As much as I LOVE the stand my husband made for me from PVC pipes, I love this Tablet Stand much more! Its moveable and flexible and that has allowed me to share tasks with my students from a wider angle.

I had so much fun taking pictures of the Flexible Tablet Stand!  It holds my iPad so well, I have no worries about it falling out of the stand.  I LOVE the fact that the holder grips my iPad and allows me to turn my iPad from portrait to landscape and back with out moving a thing, just a quick turn holding the corner!  It feels like I’m in an episode of CSI or something with the slick way that the iPad can swivel!:)

I use my iPad everyday with the Reflector2 app and now I can bend and flex the HUE Tablet Stand (as you can see in the above photos) so it’s right with me!  When I sit on my stool, I can use my iPad as a document camera where my students are able to see the entire top of the desk it is attached to!  A big improvement over the 8 1/2 x 11 space we are used to!  I can also bend the VERY flexible neck to the opposite side of the desk, so that I can control what I’m showing on my Promethean Board without leaving my students!

The HUE Flexible Tablet Stand attached in under 2 minutes–just a simple twist of the tightening grip that’s attached and you are in business!

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I’m so excited to show you this next idea too!  Check this out! :)  After the French Lick Blogger Meet-up, I had the opportunity to contact HUE and was able to review their HUE Document Camera.

I wanted to make a video to show you how it works, so guess what I used?? :)  I used the HUE Tablet Stand and attached it in seconds to my lime green stool.  I used my iPad to capture us checking out our tadpoles!  Make sure you check out minute 6:11 for an up-close look at our tadpoles.:)

 All I needed to use the HUE Document Camera was a long USB cable (I only needed this because my teacher station is on the other side of my classroom)–the HUE comes with one that would be plenty long if your teacher station is nearby.:)

I used Skype to show the live feed on my Promethean Board, but you can also use the HUE Intuition Software.

Once again, after about two minutes, the HUE Document Camera was up and running!

I LOVED the flexible neck (as you’ll see in the video!).  It made it INCREDIBLY easy to show our tadpoles from different angles–we captured a bigger tadpole eating the “stuff” left from one that died–totally gross, but my kids loved it!:) You can bend the neck literally and direction and focus it quickly with the focus knob right around the camera lens.  It couldn’t be easier to use!

I’m working on two more ideas that I will use the HUE Document Camera for–when our chicken eggs hatch on May 2nd, “Chick Cam” will let us see what’s happening in the incubator.  I will set the HUE Document Camera on our incubator and let the children watch as the chicks hatch.

We also plan on Skyping with some of our virtual Kindergarten friends and between the HUE Tablet Stand and the HUE Document Camera, we will be able to see them, read a book with them, and they will be able to see us!:)

The HUE Document Camera has a built in LED light that will help you see what you’re showing your students.  My classroom has funky lighting, so I always need an extra lamp to show things on the Promethean Board, but when our classroom lights are on, the HUE Document Camera’s light was plenty bright.:)

Click anywhere above to get yourself a HUE Tablet Stand or a HUE Document Camera–you won’t be disappointed with either!:)

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 All of the opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced by any company, person or by payment.  Product was received in exchange for this review.

 

 

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