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Fun with Fairy Tales & Friday Freebies

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope everyone had a great week!  My week was pretty awesome.  The corporate visit went very well (and my innovations in the classroom were much appreciated) and we had a blast with fairy tales!

Here's a look at some of our favorite centers, art projects, books we read and more this week.


Egg Carton Pig Snouts

These turned out so adorable, and they were incredibly easy to make!  All you need are egg cartons, elastic cord, pink paint, a hole punch and a black sharpie.  The kiddos each painted a single egg carton cup pink.  After they dried, they drew on two circles in black sharpie to look like nostrils.  Then I hole punched the sides and tied the elastic cord, and voila!  I now have twelve little piggies in my room.  :)


Pinto Bean Names

This was great fine motor practice!  On the day we focused on Jack and the Beanstalk, my kiddos used Elmer's glue and pinto beans to spell their names.

Fairy Tales Writer's Workshop Unit of Study

This week was definitely my favorite for writer's workshop!  I am so proud of all the elements of a fairy tale that my kiddos were able to identify.  I glued pictures of mentor texts in the windows of the castle.  And I couldn't resist adding a dragon and a beanstalk.  I love this anchor chart so much I'm going to have to bite the bullet and laminate it for an exorbitant price at FedEx Office, I think (the only place I have found that can laminate chart paper this big).  :)

The work my kiddos did this week was AMAZING!  I am going to share another author.  She is the newest student to my class and, I admit, I didn't exactly know what to do when on her first day of writer's workshop she drew scribbles and had no idea what she had written.  Check out her newest story below!

Ariel Got Stuck in a Ladder

The princess got stuck in the ladder.

The princess was stuck and the ladder fell in the water.

The sunshine came up and the princess was happy that she found her friends!

My next student author is also a newer student who was doing scribble drawings the first time he encountered our workshop.  I just love the care he took with the illustrations in this book (you'll notice the angry expression on the prince's face and on the last page, the dragon has no head!)

The Dragon and the Prince

The dragon was getting to be alive.

The dragon and the prince was both angry so they pretend to fight.  Fight fight fight!

And then the dragon's body fell off!

My last student author featured here is also a newer student (I am so proud of how much they have grown since they started just a few weeks ago!).  She started not knowing how to write her name and knowing only 10 letters of the alphabet.  We are still working on building her letter recognition and letter/sound awareness, but her text comprehension is incredible!  She has such a strong understanding of the fairy tale genre and that stories have beginning, middles, and ends.  Last week she wrote a story about going to the park with her dad, in which the sky on the top of the page progressively got darker as the story went on and it became night time!  Here is her most recent work below.  Notice how her story starts with "One upon a time" and contains characters typical to fairy tales (the prince and princess).  I love how she draws the princess with long hair and the prince with short hair!

The Princess and the Tea

Once upon a time there was a princess and her friend, and they were having a tea party.

And there was a prince and he saw the princess and her friend drinking tea at the party.

And they got married!

Again, I don't write down the words to the story until they have told it several times with the same meaning, and I usually inconspicously record them with my phone while they read it during author share.  I write down the story later when it's ready to be sent home, but I always ask my parents to let their kiddos read the book to them.  :)


2-D Shapes Sort

This week I introduced hexagons and pentagons.  My kiddos had the most interesting way of describing pentagons- "That looks just like a barn!"  I guess I never thought of it that way before!  We practiced sorting shapes, counting sides, so on and so forth.  We also played a neat guessing game called "Mystery Shape," in which one person secretly chooses a shape from different shapes laid out on the table and the other players have to ask questions to help them guess which shape it is.  Players can only ask yes/no questions, such as "Is it red?  Is it a square?  Is it big?" so on and so forth.  If I get some spare time (ha!), I really want to put together an adapted version of this Guess Who Shapes Game I found on Pinterest.  :)


Planting Magical Beans

We planted magical beans (aka green beans, not allowed to use lima) from Jared's in planting cups and the kiddos recorded their observations in their science journals.  They are working on drawing things as they see them (we call this using our scientist eyes).  I recorded what they noticed below.  We are so excited for these to grow!  But, as my class kindly reminded me, this time I actually have to water their plants or they'll die.  Whoops!

Soft/Hard Objects Sort

After reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears, my kiddos did this hard/soft sort activity.  Each student had a pile with a variety of objects (popsicle sticks, pom pom balls, feathers, noodles, etc).  They glued the objects onto the appropriate side of their science journal page. 

We did not get a chance to do The Three Little Pig's house construction test due to a field trip!  I really want to do this next year.  We are going to build houses out of straw, twigs and blocks and test them by trying to blow them over.

Dramatic Play

Dress Up & Castle Backdrop

This is actually a scene I painted onto a twin-sized sheet from Walmart last summer, when I was the school-age program leader.  It's a bit short, but it works great as a dramatic play backdrop!  We also used the great dramatic play props I found at Dollar Tree over the weekend (wands, princess gloves, tiaras, etc) to spice up the center.  They loved enacting their favorite fairy tales and coming up with their own!

Puppet Theater

This puppet theater is so easy to make and is a great enhancement to your classroom!  We use this often for retelling stories, and it helps me assess their understanding of beginning, middle and end.  To make, all you need is an Elmer's cardboard trifold display and box cutter.

This week, we used these cute Jack and the Bean Stalk story retelling props (originally for felt board) from Vanessa at PreK Pages.  Check out here entire Jack and the Bean Stalk ideas (including props above) by clicking here.

Here are some of the books we read this week or had available at the Listening Center:

And now for my Friday Freebies!  I have two to share today.  Firstly, here is an adapted version of the math journal shape sort activity we did after learning about pentagons and hexagons.  Click on the picture for your copy!

As you all know, I've been playing around with Photoshop and I just learned how to make patterns and backgrounds!  I am so excited!  :)  To celebrate the accomplishment and the season, I created this set of free cute snowflake backgrounds for you to use in your personal or commercial use.  Click on the picture to be directed to the freebie and terms of use at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

In other exciting news, my Pinterest followers have more than doubled since I linked up at Teaching Blog Addict!  Don't forget to share your Christmas pinboards too!

And don't forget to check out everyone else's great freebies!

Freebie Fridays

Have a great weekend everyone!  :)


  1. Jessica, I LOVE the snowflakes background and can't wait to use them! Thank you for such an awesome freebie and great work, girl!

    Learning With Mrs. Leeby

    1. Thanks Irene, I'm so glad you like them and I can't wait to see what you make! :) I just found a great free glitter pattern, can't wait to make some Christmas-related glitter backgrounds next... oh the possibilities!


    2. Jessica, your backgrounds inspired me! May I have your email address? I want to send you what I made and get your opinion! :) Thanks!


  2. just stumbled across your blog and love it. I've just started in a kindie class and am looking for ideas on what to teach. You have me given loads, Thank you.
    Alex @


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