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Super Scissors!

I’ve got a few beginning of year ideas to share with you today using some super scissors (and punches)!.  My friends at Fiskars sent me some of their cutting products so that I could share how I use them to get ready at the beginning of the year and to help my students beef up their fine motor skills!

Fiskars Post

First up, these Preschool Training Scissors are the most fabulous beginner scissors! I love using these scissors with my students who have little to no previous experience with scissors before they come to my classroom.  We use them to cut modeling clay or dough.  This helps my students “sharpen” up their cutting skills.  The dough provides just enough resistance that they begin to understand the open and closing motion of scissor cutting.  The Preschool Training Scissors also have a nifty arrow located on the side of the handles that let you convert the scissors to regular scissors when your students are ready for that.  Between the arrow on the side of the scissors that provides resistance and the dough, my students quickly develop their cutting skills (and have some fun cutting those dough snakes into smaller pieces)!


Next, to help us practice fine motor skills, we used the Paper Edgers.  My students love that these scissors can cut fun edges on their papers! I give my students scraps of construction paper and card stock to cut up.  They love cutting the paper into little bits and using those little bits to create designs on their paper.

I also place scraps of paper into a clear bin and let them snip at the paper as one of our center choices.  They love trying to cut the paper into small pieces and they don’t know that they are developing their fine motor skills at the same time.  We also bring out the Paper Edgers out anytime we need to make thank-you cards to give the sides and edges a fancy trim! There are 6 different Paper Edgers included in this set and there is a design available for almost any need. My own boys love the Mini-Pinking and Lightning pairs of scissors to make teeth on all their monster creations!





Finally, as a way to help organize myself, I make several sets of name and picture cards.  I use my 3XL Square Lever Punch and some card stock.  I measured out from the first opening in the punch out 3 inches and drew a line.  I then insert the card stock (that I cut to 2 and 1/8 inches wide) and bring it to the line and punch.  Then, its just as easy as punching and cutting a whole class set!  I then take a picture of each of my students and cut those out with the punch as well and glue them onto the bottom of the card.  I then write each student’s name at the top of the card and surround it by a dashed border.

I laminate 4 sets of these cards and use them for lots of different reasons in my classroom.  I use one set for bathroom cards.  I attach magnets to the back and my students place them on an aluminum board  when they leave the room to use the restroom.  I use two sets to help my students rotate through our literacy and math stations/tubs.  I have one set of cards on blue card stock and one set on green card stock.  I have each student paired with another and I keep them side by side in a pocket chart.  I move each set of partnered cards down to the next station/tub each day so the students can complete new activities.

The last set goes in the “pick-me deck”.  I keep this deck on my table in the front of the room and use it to help me choose students to complete different tasks.  Sometimes I use the deck to choose who is next when we are playing a game on our whiteboard, I sometimes use them to choose partner pairs for games we are playing, and I sometimes use them to help me keep track of who I’ve already called on to answer a question and who I still need to call.  This deck is also handy for guest teachers.  They can easily call on a student and see their picture next to their name.  It helps them to know who is who by their name and face.

I hope you’ve gotten some ideas you can use to help your students develop their fine motor skills and to help you get organized for the upcoming school year!  What are your favorite Fiskars products?  They are my favorite brand of scissors both at home and at school!

Thanks to my friends at Fiskars for providing me with all the goodies!  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.



Brilliant Bowls

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Do you know about these AMAZING bowls from IKEA?  They are from the KALAS collection and are currently $2.49 for a 6 pack–which is a great deal! I may or may not own 10 sets of these bowls. 🙂

I use these bowls for everything in my classroom!  I use them to sort out math materials, prepare materials for group work, and use them to organize materials in work tubs.

They are terrific for quickly passing out materials!  Our new math adoption has lots of games that my students play and having these bowls helps me to prepare them the day before.  I have enough bowls that we can all use one set individually and still have another set leftover.  I might be a tiny bit obsessed with these. 🙂

There’s also a set of plates and cups that are in the same line (along with silverware!) and I have class sets of those too:

We used the plates as trash plates when we were doing activities that had lots of little scraps to throw away.  The children can just put their scraps on the plate and empty it when they are done.


You can see how we use the cups to store our crayons.  They are very easy to transport when we want to work in our science notebooks or for writer’s workshop.

They are a GREAT organizational tool for any classroom! And, I love that after we use them, I can bring them home and put them in the dishwasher to clean them and take them right back to school. 🙂



Getting Organized!

I love every new year how I think that THIS is going to be the year where I get organized.  This year is no different…well, I guess it kind of is because I’ve actually started organizing things.  But only because of the snow.  We’ve had 3 snow days now and one 2 hour delay so far.  I love 2 hour delays because I can get a few things done in those two hours before the kiddos come to school.  During our delay last week, I decided to get going on Tammy’s #TeachersGetOrganized2015 challenge.


I’m about 1/2 way done organizing, but I started with my desk (I still need to work on my binders).

Here is the before of my desk:

Going from a messy desk to an organized one!

The Before!

This is by no means the worst that its been, I had cleaned it off just before break, so I didn’t have as many papers and extras to put away, but I did need to get some other things put away.

My binders, new pencil/file holder, and my new post-it note organizer!

I got my binders all cleaned off so that when I grab them, nothing falls off! I also got this great pencil/folder organizer at Target (my fav!!).  I stuck some dry erase labels I got on clearance at Office Depot this summer so I could label what goes in each section.  I also got this great cereal bowl from Target (in the plastic dishes area).  I figured it would hold small-ish things.  When I realized just how many post-it notes I had, I decided to dedicate this little container to them. 🙂

Kristen's Kindergarten

 (Top Left) I got a black wicker basket and it now holds my stickers, a few yoga DVD’s, a timer, and my “for school” apple slicer.  (Top Right) I found these great letters at Michael’s.  The “K” is for my first name -or- Kindergarten! It is powered by two AAA batteries and it lights up…so cute!  I think it was $12.99 and it can be decorated behind the light bulbs (one day when I get a chance!).  The “P” was from the $1 spot at Michael’s too.  I thought I needed to represent my last name. 🙂

Kristen's Kindergarten

This is the after picture. I still need to work on the drawers and organizing the binders on top of my desk, but this is a start.  I’m going to try really hard to keep it this way too. The other thing I did for myself to help keep things clean was to sign up for  I was able to get rid of my lesson plan book {even though I REALLY want one from Erin Condren} off my desk which freed up TONS of space.  I can do all my plans online now and even upload files there!  I can see it at home and school and don’t have to lug anything around.  SO happy that I am using it. 🙂

I’ll be posting more pictures soon once I get some things organized!


Who’s Who and Who’s New

I am excited to be a new author on the Who’s Who and Who’s New blog! My first post is being shared today, so head on over and check it out! 🙂  I’m sharing an easy way to keep yourself organized! 🙂

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