Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet the Teacher

Although school doesn't technically start for a few more weeks, I am now starting to panic!  I walked into my room this week and spent two days getting practically nothing done.  I have to say I felt a bit overwhelmed by all of the decorating I would like to do.  And it doesn't help that when I'm at home, Pinterest just happens to show me more ideas of all of the AWESOME things I could do!!!  So to procrastinate further, I decided to join the "Meet the Teacher Blogger" linky from Falling Into First. ;)

Hello!  My name is Ashley Copeland and I have been teaching for four years.  I've taught a year of second grade, a year of kindergarten, and two years of preschool.  This year, I will be returning to preschool with an awesome team of teachers that are passionate about working with young children and engaging them with creative activities based on their interests!  

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for four years, and am a mother to a sweet and adorable two year old, Noah.  Life is always an adventure!  The pic of my husband is from our trip to Gatlinburg this summer to revisit where we got married and to go to the Wonderworks Museum.  I would definitely recommend it for the whole family if you're ever in the area!!!


Fall (the colors, pumpkins, cooler weather, sweaters, rain...everything!!!)
Drawing (pencil)


An ecologist working and studying animals in national and state parks.  I'd love to advocate for endangered animals, since one of my favorite animals is the Siberian Tiger.


Passionate, Creative, Loving.


"We're ecstatic that this year our program is going to get audited...said no teacher EVER!!"

Twitch and Alex...just to see them dance the "Outta Your Mind" routine again from So You Think You Can Dance.  I could watch them dance all day!


 Ashley in Wonderland 

ICE!!!  I'd love to have control over water in all forms!


"She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." 
~ Proverbs 31:25


 "You Were Meant for Me"


Totally a morning person.  I get my best stuff done in the first two or three hours of the day, after I've had my coffee of course!  As a rule, I don't usually do any work after dinner.  That's reserved for family time.

I created a Beach Theme Clip Chart to match my theme this year.  It comes with calendars so your students can record where their behavior was for the day.  It's flexible so you can include all pieces of the chart or mix and match as you like, and includes several size options!


I draw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I love to draw, and I draw and shade with pencil.  My husband requested I draw him the Turtles for his "man cave," so I delightfully drew them for him!

Now it's your turn!  Visit Falling into First to participate in the linky and get to know some fellow bloggers. 

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Five for Friday and a FREEBIE!!!

I officially started counting down the days left until the end of the school year...last week!!!  Seven days to go with the kids (They don't come to school on Friday)!  Then a week of home visits, and another week of paperwork and packing up my classroom, and the school year will be over!

I keep telling myself that I need to give as much energy and excitement to the happenings going on in our classroom as I did at the beginning of the year, but every day this gets harder and harder to do...

{One}  Last week, for one of our small groups, we taught the kids how to make a flower.  We discussed what shapes flowers can be in, and then let them have at it.  Then, we cut out the shape of their flower (as you can see, they're all different) and glued them onto a stem that we cut based on how tall they are.  We are going to glue something on the back that says "  This is how tall your child was in preschool 2013-2014" and take these to their families when we go on home visits.  Rather than do a Mother's Day gift - since we're not in school for Father's Day - this is their end of the year gift for their family.

We added the flowers to our bulletin board to make a backdrop for families to take pictures on the last day of school, as we are inviting them in that afternoon for a slide show and memory book project.

{Two}  This week, we read Dinosaurs Love Underpants and I planned a few activities that went along with the dinosaur theme, which the boys in my classroom absolutely LOVED!  I saved this unit for the end of the year because it is one of my favorites and I wanted to have some engaging activities that still kept the children interested in school.  The story gets them laughing every time, and I couldn't help but laugh too!  

I created this Dinosaur Number Match 1-10 activity specifically for this unit, which you can pick up FREE on TpT.  

The kids counted the number of dinosaurs, found the clothespin with the number written on it, and clipped it to the correct number on the card.  If you download the activity, please rate it and follow me on TpT.  I'm a fairly new seller, and would really appreciate the support!

{Three}  We have toy dinosaurs that have been in our classroom all year, and the kids love to play with them, especially the boys.  For this art activity, the kids dipped the dinosaur's feet into paint and walked or stomped a trail on the paper.  I had kids that never go over to the art table try this activity several times!

{Four}  Why read this story if we weren't going to decorate our own pair of underpants?  I found this Underpants Writing Activity on TpT last year when I taught kindergarten, and it's still FREE!  It's also easy to adjust to any grade level.  We just painted them with watercolor, and I wrote down what their favorite part of the story was, so we could hang our underpants out in the hall for everyone to see!!!  The kids got a good laugh out of that one!

{Five}  The last few weeks, we've been making cosmic suncatchers, which I found on the blog Babble Dabble Do.  We quickly found out it takes approximately 3-4 days for them to dry, so you either need to do them several at a time over a few weeks (we only had 5 lids) or ask for donations before doing this activity.  Also, 2-3 drops of food coloring is plenty!  The color does spread while the glue is drying, so you don't need much, but they turned out pretty cosmic, I would say.

Hop on over to Farley at Doodle Bugs Teaching to check out all of the other blogs participating in Five for Friday.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Five for Friday

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind.  We're starting to wind down the school year, and we only have 2 1/2 weeks left of school...YIKES!!!  The last week of school technically doesn't count because it's full of field trips, fun activities ('cause we don't do them the rest of the school year, haha) and the last day, families are invited to come in for the afternoon.  I have a slideshow planned, along with an activity for families to do together with the children, and plan to pass out certificates so parents can take pictures.

Now it's time for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching, and I can't believe the week has come and gone already!

{One} Science in preschool is all about investigating the world around us...right down to the little details we tend to forget we learned about when we were young children.  Since we've been talking about rainbows, we decided to do a color experiment.  First we talked about the color of plain water, then added food coloring (red, blue, yellow) to three cups of water.  The other three cups were left empty.  Then, we took paper towel and put it between all of the cups to let the colored water absorb into the paper towel to go into the empty cups.  When the water goes into the empty cups, they make new colors (purple, orange, green)!  We quickly found out this is a S-L-O-W process... we decided to revisit this later.  This is what it looked like the following day.  It took about 3 days for the water to evenly distribute through the cups, but was a great experiment to discuss and make predictions.

{Two}  I set the experiment off to the side on the counter and then made up new cups of colored water for the children to mix together to find out what colors they could make.  They really enjoyed mixing the colors, and even asked questions like "I wonder what would happen if we mixed purple and yellow?"  For the sake of this experiment we did not mix those colors, but I put this activity out at a center for them to explore the following week to discover the answer for themselves.

{Three}  One of my favorite centers in the classroom is the Listening Center (this is what we use our computers for).  I read the story Froggy Builds a Treehouse by Jonathon London a few weeks ago when we were learning about frogs.  I always read the story first because I believe it's important for children to hear how good readers sound, to see the expressions on my face as I am reading, and to get them interested in wanting to listen to the story before I put it in this center.

{Four}  This was probably my favorite art project we have done all year!  We had leftover strips of paper from when we made our rainbows, so we used it to make caterpillars.  The kids used the 10 second gluing rule to hold down the strips, then added eyes, and used plastic forks (straight ones work the best) to make the grass.  We talked about what color caterpillars can be, and what color grass is...then I told them they could make their art whatever color they wanted.  I LOVE how they turned out!!!

{Five}  The preschool teacher across the hall was playing this video, and I couldn't resist playing this for my own kids and dancing along with them.  They love the minions from Despicable Me, and we tried to dance like the characters in the movie while we were singing along with the song.  This makes a great brain break for any age to get them up and moving!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Currently May

Wow, was I busy this weekend!  So busy I forgot that April is no longer here, and we're already 4 days into May!  Before I know it, the end of the school year will have come and gone...

It's time for Currently May with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade.  With the end of the year approaching, the school year is starting to wind down but there is so much left to do and my mind has not stopped thinking for one single second since Spring Break!!!

{Listening} It's Sunday, so of course I'm washing clothes.  I'm more of a weekend warrior when it comes to cleaning because I spend so much time at school doing it throughout the week, I lose my motivation by the time I get home.  Plus, I loved to listen to the soothing repetition of the washing machine as a back drop for my thoughts...

{Loving}  This morning, it was cloudy and pouring down rain!  Blah!  Now, the sky looks like a perfect rainbow, there's not a cloud in sight, and the wind calmed down to a gentle breeze.  This is what Spring feels like...and we sure haven't glimpsed much of it yet this year!

{Thinking}  I am venturing into some new hobbies this year.  I plan to get into blogging more, as well as decorating in a new theme for my classroom design.  If you haven't discovered Schoolgirl Style yet, I love almost all of her designs, so it's going to be hard to pick just one!  I think I'm going to go with something between the Turquoise, Black, & Gray theme and the Rainbow Chalkboard theme.  Click on the pictures below to see how Melanie used these designs!

I love the silhouettes of the kids above the windows along with the banners.  They are just so whimsical!  This would be fun to do with other themes in mind as well, like a bug theme or bird and owl theme.  

{Wanting}  This leads me into what I want.  I'm already thinking about a new design for next year.  Something a little cleaner than what I currently have - a jungle theme - that would still be fun but simple and sophisticated is what I'm going for.  So, my goal is to decide on a design so I can start SHOPPING!!!

{Needing}  I, much like everyone else, am in much need of a vacation!  This August, my family and I will be staying in a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for an entire week.  I have never been on a vacation for that long, and look forward to a retreat to get me relaxed and ready for the next school year!

{Surprise}  Kinder-Craze is one of the new blogs I discovered from Schoolgirl Style because she made over her classroom with the Rainbow Chalkboard design!  

Hop on over to her blog and check out how she organized her new classroom library!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Must-Read Monday...on Wednesday!

One of the blogs I am following introduced me to a new linky and a new blog from Teaching Maddeness.

I'm a few days late, but since I just discovered it, I think I can be excused!!!  The thing I LOVE about this idea is that I get the opportunity to hear about books I may not have ever heard of, or get new ideas of activities I can do for some of my favorite books.  Some books are also great to read just for the fun of it!

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, is one of the books I read this week, and is simply a book you can read for good, clean F-U-N!  Yes, I said fun...and we have plenty of it in preschool.  The kids could not stop laughing!  Doreen Cronin is also the author of these favorite children's books:

To go along with the story Diary of a Worm, and the theme we've been discussing about the signs of Spring (rain, rainbows, insects, and caterpillars, clouds, wind, etc.), my kids made worms at the Art Center this week.  We talked about what colors worms are and what color the grass is.  Then, I told them they could make their worms and the grass whatever color they wanted.

I believe art projects turn out WAY more creative this way, and I'm not a fan of cookie cutter art where everyone's product looks exactly the same.  (The grass was made with forks dipped in to paint to create the individual blades of grass.)

To get more ideas for read aloud and activities you can do with your class, visit Teaching Maddeness to check out the linky!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring is Here!!!

It's been a while...a few months actually...but I'm back to blogging.  We've been doing some exciting things in preschool, and with all of the breaks, snow days (we had somewhere around 14 this year! yikes!) and evaluations going on around here, I have realized the school year is almost over.  Our little tykes have 5 weeks left of school and then they will be moving on to the Big School!

To get on to business and F-U-N, it's time for: 

{ONE} Our class went on a nature walk this week to see if we could find all of the signs of Spring.  Children noticed baby trees and flowers popping up out of the ground, the buds on the trees and bushes, the sun and clouds in the sky, they heard the birds chirping, and felt the wind blowing.  

During our walk, we collected branches, sticks, pine cones, seeds, rocks, and wood chips to put into our discovery tub.  Then today, I added bugs to the tub for the kids to explore when they get back to school as a surprise!  

{TWO} Last week, when we came back from Spring Break, we did a writing piece with the kiddos.  We asked the children to think about something they did over Spring Break, and they were actually excited to write about it!  I couldn't wait to hear their stories!!!  This one says, "I'm playing with my sister with Barbies!"

Since this is preschool, I encourage them to say their sentence to me and I write it down on a sticky note to type up later.  We say each word and I say something like, "What do you hear at the beginning of 'sister?'"  Then, I ask, "What else do you hear when you say the word 'sister?'"  Often, they write down the first sound and last sound in the word.  I am thrilled they feel confident enough to write letters should have seen their writing a month ago!

{THREE} The last few weeks, we've been talking about rain and rainbows.  This week, the children painted stripes of the colors of the rainbow on a sponge and then painted sponge paint rainbows!  We had to get the sponge started so they could see the colors, but they turned out pretty cool...even the ones that were a little more free form.  That's what preschool's all about!

{FOUR} To continue with the rainbow theme, at small groups, we talked about the 10 second rule.  The kids picked out a strip of paper from each color of the rainbow, then put some glue at each end and then made an arch on a large piece of construction paper.  Then, they layered the strips to make a process based rainbow!  

The 10 second rule was to have them count to 10 when holding the strips down to make sure the strips stayed glued on...we encouraged them to count aloud, so they also practiced counting at the same time!

{FIVE} I've been doing this for a few years now, and love it every time I do it.  I tell the kids we're going to paint a handprint rainbow, and that they get to pick which color they would like to get their hand painted (or they can pass if they want).  Some children were more involved than others, but all of them loved the rainbow when it was finished!

The clouds above the rainbow were done with puffy paint.  We put glue, shaving cream, and white and black paint into a bowl for the kids to mix together and paint with their hands!  The kids that like shaving cream, but usually don't like to paint LOVED this activity!

I enjoy participating in the Doodle Bugs Five for Friday linky party because I get to find new blogs, and see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms.  So, go ahead and hop on over to visit and take a look!