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Growing in Pre K


Ocean Fun

Posted by Eilis on June 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I have been away from this blog for a while.  There are lots of changes in my life these days.  My youngest child graduated from high school in May and we are moving to the Dallas area this summer.  Packing up my classroom was a huge and sad job.  I had a wonderful group of students last year and it was very hard to say good bye.  Now I am busy making our house look like no one lives in it (for showings).... No small project when I have all the stuff from my classroom at home!  

Enough of that though.  I have finally finished a set of ocean themed printables which can be found at my TeachersPayTeachers Store.

Be sure to visit and download the preview so you can get the fish themed roll and color dice game for free.

Here's a picture of one of my students measuring the ocean animals with cubes:

Once again, I used Kate Hadfield's adorable art.

There are also pocket chart sorts, a lower case alphabet bingo game,  number recognition activities, printables to use with float/sink and estimating how many shells are in a jar, and more.... 

I will email the ENTIRE file for free to the first three people who follow my TeachersPayTeachers Store, download the preview of this set, and post a comment about it here.

While sorting out my teaching materials, I mailed a big box of books to  Moore Books for Moore Kids to help teachers trying to rebuild the classroom libraries that they lost in the tornados.   Check that out too if you might be in a position to help.

Have a wonderful summer!

Spring Stuff

Posted by Eilis on March 30, 2013 at 12:35 AM

I  have added a new file of Spring Printables to my  Teachers Pay Teachers store and my Teachers Notebook Shop. I just love working with Kate Hadfield's beautiful art .  My favorite part  of this file is an acrostic pocket chart printable for shared reading based on the word Spring.  There are also pieces for the kids to manipulate on a tree mat following the teacher's verbal directions, spring word wall words, action cards, two printable books (Color Words and a song about spring), and picture/word cards that can be used to play memory or for counting syllables.  

I will email this file for free to the first three people who comment with a great classroom idea to use for Earth Day (Monday, April 22, 2013).


Free Religious Easter Printables

Posted by Eilis on March 22, 2013 at 12:25 AM

I just discovered some great religious Easter clipart and immediately made up a printable file.  This file is FREE.  I hope you find many uses for it in the days leading up to Easter.  There are Word Wall Words, small color posters, coloring sheets, and an Easter Word Search.

You can find it either at my Teachers Notebook Shop or at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  If you download it, I would appreciate a "follow" and/or some positive feedback.  I also love comments here on the blog.  


Here are a couple of Easter books that I love:


And PreKinders has a great free printable Life of Jesus Cross HERE.



Posted by Eilis on March 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday on Friday with some Green Eggs and Ham.  I'm happy to say that we really liked them....


By the way...Kohl's currently has The Cat in the Hat book and plush for five dollars each.  (They also have Horton)

I am also enjoying a new (to me) book about animals that hatch from eggs:

I have been working on a set of Bunny and Egg Printables.  They cover CVC words, color words, sight words, counting syllables, recognizing numbers, number words, tallying, and more.  You can download this set of puzzles FREE at my Teachers Notebook Shop:

  Just click on the picture.

There's much more in the complete file:


How cute is Kate Hadfield's clipart?


I'm printing the black and white number puzzles on pastel cardstock.  What are you doing related to eggs?  I will email this file to the first three comments on this post with great ideas for eggs in the classroom.


Texas Time

Posted by Eilis on February 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM

It's Rodeo Time in Houston, so we are doing all things Texas in our classroom right now.


Friday was Go Texan Day, so everyone wore their cowboy gear.  These two cowboys are playing the Cattle Roping game from my Round Up Printables. Are the kids adorable or what?!  They love the fact that in this game they roll the die and then decide whether they want to go forwards or backwards.  The goal is to land on a cattle space, so the player adds a cow to his/her ten frame.

We also made Texas flags from construction paper:

I have created some new Texas themed printables using wonderful clipart by Katie Dang. The set is $2 at my Teachers Notebook Shop.  It includes a poster of the Texas Pledge, Texas word wall cards, a Texas memory game, a Texas emergent reader, a Texas song, a pocket chart graph question.




You can print this puzzle FREE by downloading the Free Preview of my Texas Printable File.


Before I go...I want to share a Western style Cinderella story with you.  It's not a new book, but it is new to me and my class just loved it.  It is Bubba, the Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman.



Playing With Words

Posted by Eilis on February 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

I have finally finished my Playing With Words Printable set.

 It includes a pocket chart activity based on substituting beginning sounds:

CVC picture/word cards.  Students clip a clothespin by the word that matches the picture:

A set of rhyming mittens to match:

and an I have, who has game that combines CVC words with cute clipart pictures:

I used adorable clipart from several sources to complete this set.

The complete set is just $2 at my Teachers Notebook Shop during the month of February.  The price will go up in March.

AND you can download the complete mitten matching see for FREE by downloading the PREVIEW (I included the entire rhyming mitten matching set in the sample.)  Just click on an of the pictures to go to my Teachers Notebook Shop.


The Elf Adventure

Posted by Eilis on December 4, 2012 at 6:05 AM

Our elf arrived yesterday.  The package was very cold because it came from the North Pole.

 (This activity is helping me to feel like it is almost Christmas.  It is still hot here and doesn't feel at all like December....)

The kids are very excited and voted on the name Mario.  ( least he didn't get named Angry Bird....)  I went to the Elf on the Shelf site and registered our little friend.  I scrolled down to custom so that the word family wouldn't appear on our adoption certificate.  Here's a picture of Mario's first nightly adventure.  Who knows...maybe it will generate a little interest in this pocket chart which has been collecting dust in my classroom for three years.  It was hanging there when I moved in, and I keep thinking we will use it one of these days....Maybe the hiding place was too good...The kids NEVER found him!  They are usually a very observant bunch, but I guess the elf was just too clever... So calm searching was starting to turn into a frenzy...I helped them out before they started to dump out Legos, etc.  This is supposed to be helping with classroom  management as Christmas approaches....

He left us an elf report binder, so of course we filled in our first elf report.

I think he might show up somewhere much more obvious tomorrow...

Wait...did he change the number of days until Christmas? !

I have added  a couple more items to my Elf printables.  I have uploaded them as the FREE preview so that everyone can enjoy them.  One is a sheet for asking the elf a question (to answer during the night).  

The other is a printable to use if you would like to start a You've Been Elf-ed adventure at your school:

How fun to leave some holiday pencils, stickers, or whatever you please to a neighboring class. There are two pages.  One is for your own class when your elf leaves you a treat with enough to share.  The other is for the other classes to explain the game.  I suggest including extra copies so the fun will be carried on until winter break (or until all the classes have been elf-ed).

Looking for more elf ideas?  This is a very inspiring list and many of the items could be adapted for a classroom.

We also went on our sight word gingerbread man hunt today.  It is a FREE PRINTABLE at my Teachers Notebook Shop.

We read    and then brought our clipboards, sheets, and pencils to the library to search.  It was one of those amazing teaching times when everyone is focused, on-task, and happy.  I could not believe how much they enjoyed the hunt and how well their lists of "sight words" turned out.  A few finished early and were happy to help the others find challenging gingerbread men.  Once five or six kids had finished, I turned the paper over on their clipboards and told them to draw.  Again, this was amaziningly engaging.  Some days are just awesome....

    Look there's one....

I am looking forward to trying the number hunt in a different location at school.

AND LOTS of gingerbread mail arrived after school this afternoon.  My class is going to love opening the mail.  I think I will hold some back so we can open two or three each day.  


Candy Cane Numbers

Posted by Eilis on December 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

It's December!  I am supposed to be outside putting up decorations....but I had to add this new FREE printable first!  

Merry Christmas!

Click on the picture to take you to my Teachers Notebook Shop to download it FREE.  (Please follow my shop too.)

It is part of my Sweet Stuff Numbers 1-20 Printables which is $1.50 and includes an I have who has game,


a gingerbread number hunt,


and three December worksheets (patterning, addition with pictures, and cut and paste missing number).

Gingerbread Sight Word Hunt

Posted by Eilis on November 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Here's a little FREE Printable for the Gingerbread Man theme.  Print out the gingerbread men.  You can either cut out the actual shapes or just cut each 8 x 11 sheet in half .  I do suggest cardstock and/or laminating for durability.  Place the gingerbread men all around the classroom. Give your students one of the two checklists.  On one, students just check off the sight words as they find them.  On the other, students write the words as they find them.  Click on the picture to take you to my Teachers Notebook Shop where you can download this file for free.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Update:  See this hunt in action HERE.


Delightful kids' crafts delivered right to your door. Shop Kiwi Crate! ››

Thanksgiving Printables

Posted by Eilis on November 2, 2012 at 9:25 PM

The Gingerbread Exchange is off to a great start!  In one day, we already have over fifty classes participating.  I love hearing from so many of you who read this blog, but are usually very quiet.  I am so excited about how many of you are looking forward to the exchange because your students and families enjoyed it last year.

I just purchased some adorable Thanksgiving clipart from Creative Clips (the same artist who did the cute monster under the bed graphics).  I created a printable little book to share with my own class.  It does include the words God and church, because I teach in a Christian school.  It is available FREE at my Teachers Notebook Shop.  I am trying to decide whether to add some religious printables for the upcoming Christmas season, so if you want more of these types of printables....please comment here to let me know.


This little book is part of a bigger Thanksgiving Printable which is also available at my Teachers Notebook Shop for $1.50.  Here's a peek:




Also included, is a printable where students count the correct number of turkey feathers to match the number on the turkey.  I have included printable feathers, but it will be much more fun if you add your own feathers.



Community Helpers Printables

Posted by Eilis on October 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Wow - the GrowinginPreK Facebook Page now has 600 Likes!  To celebrate -I have just added some FREE Community Helpers Printables to my Teachers Notebook Shop.

There is an "I have..Who has..." game

and a set of word wall cards.  I plan to use the word wall cards to have the kids play charades during our Community Helpers unit.

I have some more good news.  GrowinginPreK will be hosting a Giveaway of some Lakeshore Software soon!  


Candy Corn Number Grab

Posted by Eilis on October 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Here's a FREE printable game to help young learners put the numbers one to twenty in the correct order.  Players take turns choosing a numbered candy corn piece and the first to fill his/her board wins.  There are two different versions of the board depending on whether your students will need to have numbers to match or not.

Just click on the pictures to take you to my Teachers Notebook Shop where you can download it for free.



I am currently working a big "monster" printable file.  The monsters are pretty silly looking - not scary. So far I have color word matching and a rhyming word emergent reader.  What would you like to see included in this set?  I will send the file free to anyone who gives me a suggestion that I end up using.


Rhyming Pumpkins

Posted by Eilis on September 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Do your students love the book Rhyming Dust Bunnies as much as mine do?  My class just can't get enough of them.  

So...I was inspired to create a similar story about two pumpkins who like to rhyme.  Each page has pictures and words so the kids can "read" it to themselves almost immediately.


You can download this free printable HERE.


Your comments REALLY DO MEAN A LOT  TO ME.


Owl Calendar Number Printable

Posted by Eilis on September 28, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Yes, I'm cutting this a little fine....Monday is the first day of October...

I have uploaded FREE printable owl calendar numbers to my Teachers Notebook Shop.  

The owls are in three colors in an ABC pattern.

Have a great weekend!

Win a Year of Kiwi Crate

Some Free Treats

Posted by Eilis on September 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Here are two free treats (a little early for Halloween):

(1)Treat is offering a free greeting card (for any occasion) to everyone today.


Whether you need a personalized card for a birthday,  anniversary, or for any of the hundreds of occasions on Treat's site...or even just to say hello, you should check out this offer.


Head on over to Treat now and choose from one of their thousands of designs. Then personalize. You can change the text, the font, and the colors, add a picture or four, and truly make it your own. Then just use the code TREATXOXO at checkout to get it completely free (including shipping). You only have to pay if you choose to have Treat send it to the recipient ($0.45 for the stamp).


That's all there is to it. The offer expires tonight at 11:59pm PT so head on over now.


(2) I am offering a free printable dice game to use with the plastic spiders that are everywhere this time of year.  The ones pictured came from the Dollar Spot at Target.  A box of 150 (table scatter) was $2.50.  You can download the game  FREE at my Teachers Notebook Shop.


Who Loves Pizza?

Posted by Eilis on September 22, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I do!

Here's a new FREE printable that you can download at my Teachers Notebook Shop.  It is a bingo game to practice recognizing the numbers 1-15.  If you happen to have a 1/2 inch circle paper punch, it will be perfect for cutting out the "pepperoni" pieces. You could also just use the 1/2 inch punch on red construction paper.

Click on any of the pictures.  If you download this game, please make my shop one of your favorites.


I also added an alphabet version of this game.  There are several different sets of calling cards to use depending on the skill you want to practice.  There are uppercase, lowercase, and then color and black and white beginning sounds cards.

The set also includes a whole pizza/half pizza sorting activity (for a pocket chart or big math journal) and a printable book that counts the toppings on a pizza.  My students love it when I put these pages in page protectors in a binder and leave them in the book center.  The printable is two dollars and Teachers Notebook now accepts credit cards in addition to Paypal.





If you haven't seen some of my old posts on pizza, you can find them HERE and HERE.



Posted by Eilis on September 4, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Weather is a theme that I have been wanting to do more with in my classroom.  I found some good weather songs on CanTeach and added some clipart from KPM Doodles and my own "creations."  Yes, I made the "sun" myself....

The printable is available to download free by clicking on this picture:

Then, I made a set of weather themed activities.  The set is available at my Teachers Notebook Shop for $1.50.  

This file is 48 pages long!  And, I will send it free to the first three people who leave a comment here WITH A GREAT WEATHER THEME IDEA that works in a preschool or Pre-K classroom.  


Leap Frog Game

Posted by Eilis on September 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM

I have added a free printable game to my Teachers Notebook Shop.  You'll just need to add markers (two colors of plastic frogs would be fun)

and a die.  I use a foam cube with the numbers 1 and 2 written on it to keep play simple and extend the time it takes to reach ten.  If you print this, please make my day and leave a comment ! ! !

Just click on any of the photos to go to my Teachers Notebook Shop.

(While you're there...please make it one of your favorites...)

Here is the game in use in my classroom.  My students LOVE it.


Lots and Lots of Brown Bear

Posted by Eilis on August 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Yesterday, I uploaded a free Brown Bear emergent reader to my Teachers Notebook Shop.

I just love using Brown Bear, Brown Bear activities at the beginning of the school year.


Now, I have uploaded many more Brown Bear themed printables.  The entire package is $2.  Here's a sample of what is included:





You will need your own colored buttons for the Button Sort.

The Black and White emergent reader is included in this set, but it is also still free to print at my Teachers Notebook Shop.


Just click on any of the printable photos to go to my shop.


Brown Bear's Friends

Posted by Eilis on August 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM has reached 500 Facebook Likes!  THANK YOU!

To celebrate, I have added a free printable emergent reader to my Teacher's Notebook Shop.  This little book is a perfect companion to the wonderful book

Brown Bear, Brown Bear.                             

I find having students color the animals is a great beginning of the year activity.  I just had to make this version when I saw KPM Doodles' cute clipart.


Just click on either picture to visit my Teachers Notebook shop and download it for free.  IF YOU DOWNLOAD THIS,

please, pretty please either leave a comment here or make my Teachers Notebook shop one of your favorites and/or Like GrowinginPreK on Facebook.