Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It–Clipboards

This week, I made scrapbook clipboards. Since this is my first time making these, perhaps I can get some pointers from the experts.
Before beginning this project, here’s what I needed.
IMAG0703 Dollar Tree – $1.00 each & I love the clips at the top. Easy to hang on a wall or just slip them inside the board to hide them.
Scrapbook Paper, Mod Podge, Writing Instrument, Brushes & Scissors
Make a template of your clipboard & trace onto the scrapbook paper of your choice. I used this graphing sheet to help with the measurements.
Then, flip the scrapbook paper over, trace template onto the back of the sheet and cut out. I used scissors. If you want straighter edges, use a paper cutter.
Spread Mod Podge liberally onto your clipboard. Apply the scrapbook paper and smooth out. A paint scraper tool or old credit card will help work out any bubbles between the clipboard and the scrapbook paper. Apply Mod Podge liberally over the top of the scrapbook paper using smooth hand strokes. Allow to dry 20 minutes. Use at least 2 to 4 coats on top of the scrapbook paper.
Peel any dried excess off using a razor blade. Next, apply acrylic sealer. This will help your clipboard last longer. By the way, these clipboards are longer than 12 inches. Therefore, I just centered the sheet. If you like more perfection, just layer pieces of scrap to cover the entire board.
Hope you enjoyed my Monday Made It project!
If you haven’t already signed in as a follower, be sure to join to receive more future project ideas.
Be sure to link up now. Click the picture below.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Link Up for Behavior Management Tools during Carpet Time

It seems every year I have a student who needs a little help staying in his own space (instead of others) during carpet time in our learning corner.
And, although the district does allow painters tape (to make a seating grid, straight lines, or Velcro dots) to be placed on the carpets, it sometimes doesn’t have the effect I am looking for… you know, the child staying in one place and actively learning.
So, I picked up this little gem this summer! Of course I am hoping it will help that one student I get each year get excited to sit and learn in our learning corner during carpet time!
Behavior Management Cushion
I find a seating grid or graph made from placing painters tape on the carpet works very well for me, especially at the beginning of the school year. Later, I transition to straight lines using the tape as the students understanding develops of where and how to sit on the carpet.
But, when the seating grid doesn’t work for a student, I try a variety of strategies. This year, I am adding this seat cushion and hoping to make it a positive reward for the student who has difficulty sitting.
Right now, you can purchase similar inexpensive items at Dollar Tree or Target. But, I am redesigning my class and decided to splurge on a few things… this being one of them.
Continue to check in periodically for updates on the new classroom design.
If you haven’t already signed in as a follower, be sure to join to receive more ideas concerning behavior management.
linky 1 carpet time learning

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monday Made It–Display Bookshelves

This year I have decided to redecorate my classroom. One of my projects was to get rid of the old or at least make it look new again! Stay tuned in for more and be sure to become a follower.
Does the store Borders ring any bells? Yes, they closed the doors for good but have any of you visited these closed stores? Many of them still have furniture inside of these buildings.
This summer I went to a local Borders bookstore and was lucky enough to find someone working inside. They were dismantling the bookshelves and display shelves as well as throwing away all of the furniture (desks, chairs, computers, telephones, etc.). Can you believe that?!
So here’s what I received!
I opted for 2 of these display shelves which were 8 feet in width and 5 feet in height until modified!
My husband used a skill saw and removed the top display shelving unit, leaving a floor unit and one stand up unit. Here’s how they have turned out so far but I still have a few finishing touches to go.
I’m very happy with my project although it took some time painting. I didn’t want to sand the wood so here’s what I did to make my project faster!
1. Tinted Primer! Since I wanted to paint these shelves black, a dark tinted primer will prevent you from having to prime any item twice.
2. Black Paint – Use a nappy roller for best application without having to paint twice. If you use a spongy roller for a smoother finish, the sponge will absorb lots of paint and you’ll be putting on two coats of any dark color you choose.
3. I purchased these cute wooden decorations at Michaels craft store. They were on sale for 15 cents each.
Wooden Decs2     Wooden Decs1
4. After paint cures a few days, I used craft bonder to adhere these permanently to the paint. You can find it in any craft store aisle where the glue guns are. Simple to use: just add it to the back of the item, wait 2 minutes and then place.
5. Last of all to finish my project, I am going to use my White Sharpie below to write letters of the alphabet and words on and around the wooden decorations. Unfortunately, I was not able to get back into my classroom to complete this. Our district has a strict policy during the summer. So much so, that we have to turn in our keys!
Total Cost $30
Hope you enjoyed my Monday Make It project!
If you haven’t already signed in as a follower, be sure to join to receive more future project ideas.
Be sure to link up now. Click the picture below.

Keep Your Family Safe

After linking up to the “Tell Me More” linky party at Amy’s site, Step into Second Grade, I am regretfully removing a few items in previous post(s). After reading this, I hope you will understand as well as perhaps learn something useful like I did.

This is an eye-opening video that every parent who uses a Smartphone (iphone, android, blackberry, etc) needs to see.

For more information on how to easily disable your device please visit:
Thanks for understanding,


Don’t forget to remove any unnecessary apps from your smartphone. Most smartphone apps can access lots of personal information you probably don’t want flying around in cyberspace. Be sure to read the terms before downloading to see what areas of your phone they are accessing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell Me More!

Hi Friends!
Today I’m linking up with the party at Amy’s. If you haven’t headed over to her sight, click on the link button at the end of this post and get linked in.
1. I started blogging just recently, like last month, at the urging of another teacher friend who says I need to share my ideas with the world. So, here I am. Although I have a lot of technology experience for Kindergarten (like ipad apps, smartboard lesson creation, etc), I am learning all about social media.

I hope you will stay tuned in for more as I have so much to share with you. I’m also looking forward to learning from all the amazing teachers I read about. Thank you for helping me to be a better teacher too.

Terena Riggins Website
2. I love my job! I teach Kinder and although it seems to be the hardest, it’s also been the most rewarding. Teaching the little children of K brings me such joy and just plain makes my heart happy. Thank goodness God grants us so many wonderful qualities to do so, like PATIENCE! 


3. By the grace of God, He has truly blessed me!

4. Marrying my husband was one of the best days ever.
5. Family – I couldn’t live without my family! They are the best!!!!!

6. I’ve always been a little dare devil. I *L*O*V*E* anything fast and somewhat edgy. I downhill ski (love to jump, ski off course, etc), ride motorcycles, and I used to whitewater raft and rock climb often. Now we spend a lot of time camping in the mountains & at the beach.
I couldn’t live without it.
IMAG0019     IMAG0026
10. I love to volunteer and give. I believe it’s important to help others through volunteering and giving back to our communities and those less in need. My favorite volunteer position for several years was being an outdoor EMT at our local ski resort.
ski patrol
Hope you enjoyed learning a bit about myself. Now go over to Amy’s and get linked up. Click the picture below.
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paint Chip Ideas #5–Beginning & Ending Sounds and Substitution

So, one last idea for your language arts lessons regarding paint chips. Begin with a Valspar triple paint chip from Lowes.

IMAG0670Turn the chip vertically with the square on the left side to create beginning sound chips. Now write word families or other word endings on the paint chip and simply cut apart on the white lines. If you really want to get fancy with all the paint chip ideas, use a Cricut to cut out pretty letters. Finally, use these to teach beginning sounds. My students simply use a dry erase marker and write in the square the sound they hear right on top of my kidney table. I use Clorox wipes to erase when we are all finished. You could also place these on top of a small white board or create tag board paper strips to use behind the square.

IMAG0671     IMAG0673

I also use this idea to create ending sound chips. Just flip the Valspar paint chip vertically so the punched out squares are on the right side this time as shown below.


Using these ideas, I can also teach my students how to substitute letter sounds at the beginning or ending of a word. For example, the picture above “hi__” can be written as “him.” Once the student hears the /m/ sound, I can ask him to substitute the /m/ sound and make a new word using the /s/ sound, “his.” Substituting beginning and ending sounds becomes easier for the child using this method and they love choosing the colorful paint chips each time.


If you have comments or other great ideas regarding paint chips, I’d love to hear from you!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Paint Chip Ideas #4–Bookmarks

How cute is this!

Paint sample bookmarks

Pick these paint samples up at any local hardware or big box store. Use a decorative punch on each color, and add your favorite ribbon. For variation, use matching holiday stickers rather than decorative hole punches.

Online Stop Watch

Do you seem to always have a few students who often ask “how long until…recess, lunch, the next center,” etc? Well, here is one simple solution. Project this visual timer on your promethean board or projector to help students learn more about time. Simple to use.

Click the picture below.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paint Chip Ideas #3–Mini Flips

Using Mini Paint Chip Flip Charts

To make these great and super easy mini flip charts, get to Lowes paint department. Each chart has approximately 26 mini paint chips in multiple colors perfectly bound on a spiral.


I love to use these mini flip charts during whole class reviews, small group reinforcement, and in literacy centers. I use them to match upper and lowercase letters, introducing sight words as the year progresses, CVC words concentrating on specific vowels, reading color words, word families, and many other ways.

IMAG0636     IMAG0635

For Upper & Lowercase Letter Matching, write the matching letters on the same color paint chip. After writing all the letters A to Z, simply cut in the middle of each card. Students learn when the paint chip color is the same, the letters match (like the right hand picture above).

IMAG0637       IMAG0638

For Sight Word Practice, write sight words as you introduce them throughout the year. Review as a whole or small group and then place them in a literacy center for extra practice.

IMAG0641     IMAG0639

Students love these little flip books to learn to read and spell color words.

IMAG0643     IMAG0642

As for Word Families, these work out beautifully as FREE flip charts! Students love to practice with partners. You can make two word families on each booklet. On the first few paint chips write only the beginning sound of the word family you choose. After writing all the beginning sounds, on the next paint chip write only the word family chunk (such as “it” above).

It’s cheap, easy, and fun for your students! Happy flipping!

Terena Signature for Blog

Please leave comments if you have other great ideas on how to use paint chips in your classroom.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Paint Chip Ideas #2–Segmenting


Continuing with paint chip ideas for the classroom, today’s post will focus on segmenting phonemes.

As I stated in the previous post, paint chips come in various sizes, single and multiple colors on a chip, viewing holes, etc. This next set of paint chips I pick up at Lowes simply because they have 3 paint colors on one chip with the viewing holes. Again, use a paper cutter to slice the edges off where the paint color and numbers are located and finally draw a happy face in the upper left corner (I’ve also used stickers before but the students tend to pick at them) to teach the students where to begin when we first start learning to segment beginning, middle, and ending sounds.

IMAG0558     IMAG0557

Like the paint chips I used for blending, you can use these a few different ways. First, laminate them if you wish. Then use dry erase markers to write a word in each section. Don’t forget to erase right after finishing the lesson. Again, I prefer to replace them when they get tattered and instead use magnetic letters the students can hold. I also use magnetic letters from Really Good Stuff. Their letters are color coded: blue for consonants and red for vowels. So, using these we can have discussions discerning the CVC relationship as well. As for this particular chip, I find the students love the placing their finger in the viewing hole when segmenting. It’s a great way to teach them to find one phoneme rather than the blending strategy where they slide their fingers across the entire chip. Another way I have used them is to write the words with a permanent marker and eventually place them in a center where students can practice with partners.


Don’t forget, you can get these in all different colors. My students get excited to pick their own colors each time we practice this strategy. Happy segmenting.

More on how to use paint chips in your classroom tomorrow!

Terena Signature for Blog

Please leave comments if you have other great ideas on how to use paint chips in your classroom.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Paint Chip Ideas #1–Blending

Have you ever thought about using FREE paint chips in your classroom?

I’ve been using this idea for quite some time now but would love to know if any of you have other ways to use these in your classrooms. Over the next few posts, I will share some ways I love to help my little kiddos learn using paint chips.

Paint chips come in all sizes, single or multiple color chips, with and without viewing squares, etc. I always get this first set of chips at Home Depot. Use a paper cutter to slice the edges off where the paint color and numbers are located. I like to draw a happy face in the upper left corner to teach the students where to begin when we first start learning to blend sounds together.


If you have ever used the McGraw-Hill Treasures Reading Program, then you will know that it incorporates several strategies from other programs. I have used all of the programs that Treasures has embedded strategies from. One such strategy for blending is from Reading Mastery. In the picture below you will see how drawing on paint chips can help your children learn to blend easily by having something tangible and hands on in front of them. 


You can use these a few different ways. First, laminate them if you wish. Then use dry erase markers to write a word in each section. They will last longer if they get erased right away after being used. I prefer to replace them when they get shabby and instead use magnetic letters the students can hold. Another way I have used them is to write the words with a permanent marker and eventually place them in a center. If you’re not sure how the strategy works (click the Reading Mastery link above for a sample page with instructions) students begin on the left side touching the dot. As they sound out each phoneme, the student slides their finger slowly across the line with the arrow. After practicing this a few times, say “say it fast.” In which case the student again follows the same strategy however, they move their finger and mouth much more quickly and eventually achieve fluency. By the way, these FREE samples also come with four and five paint colors so you can even use them for your students who need more of a challenge. Happy blending.

More on using paint chips tomorrow!

Terena Signature for Blog

Please leave comments if you have other great ideas for paint chips.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

WELCOME Friends!!!

So, here it is… my new teaching blog with great thanks to my wonderful supporters and friends.
The Kinder Cupboard is a work in progress at this time and I'm still updating the site with my favorite blogs, links, etc. I'd love for you to follow along in hopes you will find many helpful resources for yourself or perhaps other educators you know.

In addition, you may also want to follow along at The Kinder Cupboard's Pinterest boards. Here you will find many ideas exclusively for primary teachers where all the pins are organized nicely.

Last, you have all inspired me greatly. I have created this blog due to my many supportive readers and all of the teacher blogs that I learn from daily. There are some amazing teachers out here in the blogosphere! I've become a better teacher by learning from many of you. Therefore, thank you to all of you who are so inspiring, supportive, and amazing friends.

Welcome, welcome to The Kinder Cupboard!!!!