Spring Dramatic Play {FLOWER SHOP} Freebie

Notice the lack of weekly grad school updates?  No school means no updates.  I'm on semester break, and I have somehow managed to spend the bulk of my time laminating and organizing about a million and one  curriculum resources.  All this work makes a girl need more coffee!  So I made a pot and snapped this picture.  That's when I realized my lipstick matched my travel mug.  (If you give Heather a cup of coffee, she's going to ask for some lipstick to match her mug!)

I *might* be enjoying my semester break TOO MUCH!
While sorting through all of the files on my computer searching for the items I have purchased from TPT over the past few months that were in need of laminating/sorting/binderizing, I ran across a few pictures of last year's Flower Shop and knew I had to post a free resource for y'all!  What I pulled together were most of the files I created for my classroom's dramatic play area FLOWER SHOP

Simply print & post them in the area. I like to laminate mine and store them in my "flower shop tote" so I can use them year after year.  (More about the dramatic play tote is listed below, as well as in the free download.)  These signs and printables really give my classroom a little extra oomph while spring topics are in full bloom. 

Click here to download this FREE packet of signs & ideas!
The packet includes: 
- Pocket chart strips (Manuscript AND D’Nealian)
- Shop price sheets & order forms (Manuscript AND D’Nealian)
- Sale signs (color and b/w)
- Open & closed sign- Flower making station instruction signs
- Storage ideas, set up information, and pictures of my classroom flower shop 

Click here to download this FREE packet!

I picked up most of the items in our flower shop at the dollar store and/or the Target “dollar spot”.  The area is super simple to set up: plastic shoe boxes, fake flowers, plastic pots, vases, fake money, a toy cash register, trowels, gardening gloves, aprons, shopping bags, dress up clothes, a couple of tables and chairs, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, clipboard for order forms, a large pocket chart, and the printables included in this packet.  (The banner you see in my images came from Pre-K Pages.  It was too, too cute to pass up!)  Can you tell they LOVE using those fine motor skills at the flower making station???  The entire bulletin board was COVERED by the time the shop closed for the season.

The Flowers...
Bouquets of fake flowers were available at Dollar Tree in red, pink, yellow, blue, orange, and purple.  I snipped single stems from the bunch with wire cutters so more children could utilize the flowers at the same time.  Trimming the stems a little shorter also helps the flowers stay inside the small pots and vases.  I later added fake ivy and a grapevine wreath!

On the Shelves...
The flowers are housed in plastic shoe boxes that sit on top of construction paper that matches the color of the flowers in the box (use clear contact paper to hold the color labels to the shelf).  Each box is clearly labeled with the color of flower that goes inside (place clear packing tape over the labels).  All of the other items on the shelves have super simple labels.  For instance, the little black pots on the top shelf have black construction paper circles under each one.  Keep it simple, and e sure to save the boxes and labels to use year after year. 

Work Space...
Work space is a MUST HAVE with a flower shop play area.  I used a couple of little tables that were already in my classroom, as well as placing two small shelves together to create another flat top work area.  Chairs were in the area at one point, but I ended up removing all but two.  My kiddos needed to roam free while creating their floral designs!  {Notice the globe in the background?  Perfect prop when discussing world-wide shipping options.} 

Keeping It Real...
I like to encourage play in my classroom, but I also know the value of keeping it real!  We plan flower seeds, read about a million books revolving around the plant life cycle, and go on scavenger hunts in search of various plants and flowers.  Check out the beautiful REAL flowers we discovered behind the school!  This scavenger hunt was a great way to tie out flower shop and current spring outdoor environment. 

Winner, winner chicken dinner!  We found flowers on our spring scavenger hunt!

Leader of the day gets to water the plants.  This is a fabulous fine motor workout!
Flower Making Station...
For the flower making station, I printed, laminated, and trimmed the signs included in this packet.  After one teacher-led instruction session, kiddos were able to follow the signs and make flowers!  (The super tightly wadded flowers you see in the picture above are “flower buds”!  OMG...how stinkin’ cute are my students?) For the ease of creating a dedicated spot for the materials, I used sticky-backed Velcro to  secure the tissue paper tray and pipe cleaner container to the table.  We had just enough room for two people a time to work at either end of the small table.

A close up shot of the flower making station my kiddos loooooved so much!
We had flowers (and buds) galore!
I store each one of my dramatic play area themes in a 15”w x 23”L x 6”h plastic tote. This keeps me from sorting through multiple boxes for the items I need when the time comes for a switch up, as well as forcing me to keep the area itself simple and uncluttered.  Items specific to the flower shop theme go in the flower shop tote when I “close up shop” for the season, but there are many items that stay out year round (dolls, dress up clothes, computer keyboards, money, etc.) 

A couple of my dramatic play storage totes...
Changing the Area...
I start the school year with a “house area”, but then change it to a bakery after Thanksgiving break.  From there, I switch things up about every two to three weeks!  My students LOVE this and always look forward to what is coming next.  Because I am super organized with the storage part of my imaginary play areas, each switch out takes me about 30 minutes total.  I like to warn children of what is coming by placing signs around the area when it is almost time to switch things up.  This packet includes a “pet shop coming soon” sign because I typically set up a pet shop/vet clinic after Mother’s Day.

Why a Flower Shop?
Having a flower shop in the classroom supports my plant life cycle unit. I love watching children dig through plastic fishing worm-filled soil with trowels in the sensory table, create seed collages as we introduce the plant life cycle, plant seeds to take home, and use their fine motor skills to create tissue paper flowers at the flower making station (printable instructions are included in this FREE packet). Swing into spring with me!

End of Semester SALEabration {20% Off}

To celebrate the end of my grad school semester, I decided to host a 20% off sale in my Teacher Pay Teachers store.  Everything in the store is marked down April 16 & 17.  This is a great time to stock up on spring teaching resources.  Be sure to check out my best sellers below...

Click here to view MORE of my spring teaching resources!
Happy spring shopping!

Grad School Chronicles: Week 13

It's week 13.  That means 1/3 of this full time graduate program is OVER!  This picture was taken moments after submitting the final assignment of the semester.  I was clearly riding the high!

You know you are catching the ESP vibes when you are color
coordinated with the professor!
I covered the professor's face because I did not ask her permission to blog about her.  Notice I blurred her with a heart.  That's because I really want an A in her class she is one of my favorite instructors.  She is everything a teacher should be...caring, silly, super-knowledgeable, able to speak to students without a snarky "I'm better than you because I'm a professor" tone.  Now I wish I would have taken a picture with each of my professors, but I didn't think of it until I noticed the color coordinated awesomeness happening in that very moment.  {Homer Simpson slap to the head  -- DOH!}

What are my thoughts for the week?
I want to celebrate making it through my first of three semesters with a 4.0 with a BIG SALE in my TPT store this weekend.  April 16 & 17, my entire store is marked 20% off!  This is a great time to stock up on my line of spring themed write the room activities and story stretchers. 

Grad School Chronicles: Week 12

I will keep week 12's blurb short and sweet because I am up to my eyeballs in lesson plans and end-of-semester projects.  The picture below captured one of the happiest moments I have ever had in a math class.  Yes, this is a curriculum and instruction course, but it does not tone down my happiness meter!

All semester, we have been working on math starters at the beginning of class.  I typically lose interest in them within 15 seconds of not being able to figure out whatever it is I am supposed to be doing.  Unless the math I am doing has to do with my weight, my bank account, or my running pace during a marathon, I am really not interested.  {Nothing personal to those of you math junkies out there!}  However, Monday afternoon, I finally found one interesting enough to stick with it!  To top it off, my answer was correct!

The math starter was really interesting.  It featured a woman who was singing the math problem to us.  During her song, we were supposed to figure it out as we listened to her sing.  This actually is typical of my learning style, as I tend to lean toward anything musical.  I sing a LOT in my classroom.  This has inspired me to find more ways to incorporate singing into my math lessons.  Fun!  I will try to find a link to the video and post it soon.

What are my thoughts for the week?

  • TGNWIFW! (Thank God Next Week Is Finals Week!)

Mrs. Wishy-Washy Inspired Writing & Comprehension Activity {FREE}

Well, I finally did it.  I totally lost my mind reached out and contacted Kathy from A Button and A Stitch to ask her if she would pretty-please custom make the duck, pig, and cow to add to her Mrs. Wishy-Washy doll listing.  Guess what?  She did it, and they are so stinkin' adorable!  What a fabulous addition these dolls will make during next year's Wishy-Washy Week!  Even better news -- you can pick up a set from her, too!

In went the pig!  In went the cow!  In went the duck!  (The tub came from Goodwill.)
To celebrate my newest addition to my teacher hoarding room (aka: my office), I finally created a freebie for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Click the image below to download the Mrs. Wishy-Washy inspired "draw and tell" recording sheets.  There are two in the packet to choose from.

Click the image to download this free ELA comprehension activity!
If clicking the image isn't working for you, feel free to follow the link below.

{FREE} Mrs. Wishy-Washy Draw & Tell Recording Sheets:

Of course, this activity would make a GREAT extension for my story retell and activity cards packet.  The packet contains a couple of engaging and fun activities!  If you don't own the set already, here's a link:

Mrs. Wishy-Washy Story Retell & Sequence Cards with Sequence Activities