fall

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

E.L.F (Everyone Loves Freebies) Challenge

Thanksgiving isn't over yet, but already our minds are on Christmas. Maybe it's the snow that came so early to the midwest? Maybe the cold air. Maybe the decorations everywhere. Whatever it is, it has gotten me more excited for these holidays. 
Krista from Creative Clips has a love of creating. She has a real talent for making things look cute, fun, and exciting to use. She is having an E.L.F. Challenge. It stands for Everyone. Loves.Freebies. Boy she's got that right! I love freebies. I don't mind buying things, but when a freebie comes along it's a gift and I cherish it.
This E.L.F. challenge is not just for me. . . You can do it too. 
Click the picture to grab this challenge and her freebie.

Since I'm home now, I took the time to create a freebie for you. It really is geared toward kinders, but first graders and some 2nd graders might like it too. Here's a sample of what is included: 
Click on the picture to go to my store to get this. 
This might be really good for 1st and 2nd because they have to look closely to see the different kinds of penguins. 

This is free for you to grab as a thank you for following me. .. .you are following me aren't you? If not, please do me a favor and follow me before you grab this. I'm very close to 1,000 followers and what a gift that would be to have that many friends! 

And if you do grab it, could you please leave me some good feedback.  A few kind words go a long way! Thanks for following me and letting me know your thoughts!


Friday, November 21, 2014

First Day of Change!

Today is my first day of retirement. Yesterday I finished teaching kindergarten for 12 weeks. I've already had a full morning of breakfast with friends, a new hair color and cut,  and lunch at home. It is a different feeling having this kind of freedom on a "school day!"  I even  found some time to update my blog! and without guilt too!

This last week we had a Scholastic's Book Fair during our parent teacher conferences. (By the way, it's a great way to get parents to actually look at books. While their waiting for your conference they can browse books. . . and in most cases if they are opening up books, they probably buy one, which really helps our own library to get more books. So it's really a win win for everyone!)

During the day I took our kinders over to just look through to see what was there. I walked around the corner and this picture shows what I found. They just sat down and started reading. That's just too precious! They love books already!

The other kindergarten teacher in our building is a huge TPT fan, and has probably purchased many things from YOU! She found this mug on Etsy and ordered it as soon as she saw it! She and I worked very well together and she loved having a cooperative teaching partner. (another story that must remain untold!) So she gave me the lovely flowers in the background AND this awesome and fabulous mug! Now I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do love hot chocolate and hot tea! So it will be used and loved! Thanks Sherry!


Even though I won't have a classroom, I do plan to keep on blogging, creating, and connecting with other teachers. So please keep coming back to see what I'm up to. 

My next phase of my life starts on December 1st. I will start working at a different building with 2nd graders for 4 days a week,  mornings only. I will work with one child or a small group. I will be doing what ever the teacher asks me to do with them. It's much like an aid or paraprofessional, except that our district is paying nicely for this since they value my experience and abilities. This job seems like a job made in heaven. I only work until noon. I don't have to write major lesson plans,  report cards, go to meetings, parent conferences, or do any paper checking. Who wouldn't want that job?  I'm excited to start another new thing. Kindergarten was fun. It really wasn't terrible! And I saw a ton of growth from day one until now with those little kiddos. 

Since I'm celebrating the changes in my life, I'd like to make someone else's day! Leave me your email and I'll send a copy of my 4 Corners with the Tricky Teens powerpoint to the first  3 people who leave me their email address.

It's an easy and fun way to get your kinders or firsties up and moving while they are thinking too! 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Helping A School Who Lost Everything

Have you ever woken up from a dream and felt like you had lost your most precious things to a fire? I have had that dream many times. Fortunately it has never happened to me. But there is a school in Texas that has. When I think about the school materials that are in my room, I realize that I have a lot of stuff. But then I take it a bit more personally and think about all the other things in my room that I have put my heart and soul into. I would be crushed if I lost it all. Please read the following that was posted by Marcy at Saddle Up for Second Grade. She has helped to organize a fundraiser to give back to this school who has nothing.  Please read it and see if you could buy one of these packs. And then could you do one more thing please? Could you share it with your staff members or your own blog? This store will be live for the entire month of November. Any help that you can give will be appreciated.


On Sunday, September 21st, the only elementary school in Post, Texas caught fire and burned for several hours. Two grade levels have lost everything.   More grades have suffered severe smoke and water damage to their classrooms. Like most small, rural towns in West Texas, the school in Post is the heart of the town. The majority of community activities revolve around the local schools. 

To show our love and support for Post Elementary, caring bloggers and TPT sellers have graciously donated products for fundraiser bundles! Let’s show our love and support for our fellow teachers that are rebuilding their classrooms and teaching their children.  Products in the bundles are worth over $200! TPT sellers that have graciously donated products. All of the bundles will be available for the entire month of November. All of the proceeds will go to the Post Elementary teachers to help them rebuild their classrooms. The bundles include the following:


Helping the Heart of Texas: A Fundraiser for Post Elementary


Saddle Up For 2nd Grade – That’s a Fact Jack: Math Fact Fluency Minute Test
Show Me the Money Unit

Michelle Griffo from Apples and ABC's - I Know My Colors

Jamie Pink from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers - Time Telling Task Cards

Valerie Donaldson from Georgia Grown Kiddos - Morning Meeting Calendar Time

Angie Olson from Lucky Little Learners - Addition Interactive Notebook

Dixie Selva from Teachin' Little Texans - Magnet Mania Unit

Nicole Alderson from Rowdy in Room 300 - A Year of Ten Frames Worksheets


Helping the Heart of Texas: A Fundraiser for Post Elementary

Greg Smedley from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard – What Does The Fox Say? CVC word work mega pack 

Patty Rutenbar from 2nd in Line – Cause/Effect for 1st and 2nd Grades

Arisbeth Rossi from Sailing into Second Grade - Sub Teacher Pack

Haley O'Connor from My Silly Firsties - Colorful Editable Teacher Planner

Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd - ELA SCOOT and SCOOT JR.

Kacey Mclendon from Doodle Bugs Teaching - Reading Comprehension Printables


Helping the Heart of Texas: A Fundraiser for Post Elementary

Saddle Up For 2nd Grade – Knuffle Bunny Mini Unit

Angela Nerby from Hippo Hooray of Second Grade! - Making Words for the Whole Year

Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants - Guided Reading Mini-Lessons

All Y’ALL Need - A Unit Inspired by Snow White 


Helping the Heart of Texas: A Fundraiser for Post Elementary

Holly Ehle from Kindergarten Connections - RTI: Letter Confusions Investigations

Hadar from Miss Kindergarten - Sentence Scrambles {sight word practice}

Kristen Walker from Easy Teaching Tools - Handwriting without Tears for the Entire Year

Amanda Richardson from Mrs. Richardson's Class - Scarecrow Fun

Helping the Heart of Texas: A Fundraiser for Post Elementary



Helping the Heart of Texas: A Fundraiser for Post Elementary

Meg Anderson from The Teacher Studio – Exit and Entrance Slip Bundle

Diane Hubacz from Teaching with Moxie - CRASH: A Multiplication Game

Lacie Brown from Polka Dots and Pencils - Superfun Back to School Activities

Lory Evans - Multiplication Game Boards

Retta London from Rainbow City Learning - CeeCee Math Halloween

Stephanie Chambers from Learning Chambers - 3-digit addition and subtraction station with QR codes

Amanda Wilp from The Primary Gal - Division Task Cards

Saddle Up For 2nd Grade – Popping into Place Value: A Unit up to 1,500


Helping the Heart of Texas: A Fundraiser for Post Elementary

Katie Klohn from Miss Klohn’s Classroom – December Literacy Station

April Smith from Performing in Fifth – Plan a Field Trip Project-Based Pack 

Amy Alvis - United States Regions and Poster Pack 

Michelle Harper from No Monkey Business - Literary Elements (Make a Case for...)

Lacie Brown from Polka Dots and Pencils - Superfun Back to School Activities

Tanja Tlusty from Journey of a Substitute Teacher - Natural Disasters Nonfiction Pack


Nicole Swisher from All Things Apple in 2nd - What's the POINT, anyway? Activities to teach Author's Point of View

You can purchase the entire 3-5 bundle here. Due to file sizes, we were not able to bundle the entire K-2 sets. You can clickhere to visit our entire store. 

We would also like to give a shout out to the amazing Nicole from TPT! Her guidance and support of the fundraiser has been incredible. What a wonderful community to be a part of!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Counting From the Beginning & a Surprise

As a 2nd grade teacher I didn't have to pay much attention to counting by ones. The students just came to me knowing how to count to around. . . 100 pretty easily. Our job was to get them to learn to skip count by 2's, 5's, and 10's. 

After working with kinders for 10 weeks, I am now realizing that there's more to counting than I thought. Here's what processes we have to teach:
  • count orally in order
  • write the numbers in order
  • put a set of number cards in order
  • put the cards in order starting at the left 
  • name a number in any order
  • make a set of that number
  • find the word that matches the number
I am just amazed that there is so much involved. 
Who knew? 
Well, I guess I didn't. . . . I just never thought about it. 

So to help my kids be able to practice that better, I made a couple sets of cards to fit the season and help them learn. The numbers that are practiced in this set are from 0-20. They love subitizing and this is another good way to get that into your schedule!

First they have to put the numbers in order.



 Then they find the 10 frame picture to match the number.


This picture shows them trying to match the number word with the number.


If done correctly they might see something like this. 


I also made some tally mark cards from 1-10. Tallying is still fairly new to my kids so I didn't push it too much.
click the picture to go to my store

If you're still here reading. .. BONUS!. . . .
I want to give 3 sets away this weekend. Follow me, leave your email address, and your favorite number. I will pick a winner on Sunday night. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sensory Boxes and A Giveaway!

I know it's been way to long since I've posted anything and I know that I have a ton to share with you. I have an exciting give away coming up that I have to keep a secret for now, but if you're a kinder or first grade teacher, I think you're going to want to come back and see what it is. Hang in there. It might be a week or so before I get to it. 

In the meantime, here's a couple pics of what my kids are doing. Marsha from A Differentiated Kindergarten is my inspiration. She has helped me a lot in giving kids lots of experiences. This sensory box below has colored noodles (easy to color with a couple tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in a zip lock baggy, several drops of food coloring and a variety of noodles. Shake up and mix around for a while, then pour onto newspaper to dry.) 

My kids love this. They use the tongs (which really helps with their fine motor skills) to pick up the ten frame card and put it into a cup with the matching number on it. 



This picture shows the rice that I'm mixing up for another sensory box. Rice can be colored the exact same way. 


This is the finished product.




I want to share a great giveaway with you. My sweet friend Angela from Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade  is celebrating!
(Don't you just love that name?) 


click on the picture to go to her blog

 She is so lucky to have reached 1,000 followers on TPT that she wants to give you some stuff! Yes, GIVE. . . as in no money! But you do have to enter. It's not hard. Just follow her blog and her TPT store and a whole bunch of other blogs and stores and wa-la! You're in! You have until this Saturday to enter. I sure hope you win!

Here's a picture of what I'm giving away.

These pumpkins can be put in your sensory boxes too!

Please stop over and see what other things you could win. I know you'll be happy!