Monday, December 31, 2012

Arctic Animals Unit

I'm SUPER excited about this new product!  We follow a weekly theme in Kindergarten.  Last year when our "Arctic Animals" theme came around, I didn't have the time to create a big unit like I wanted to.  I was still working between two school buildings so my time was limited.  I began thinking about this unit in the summer, just bouncing ideas around in my head.  I cannot wait to teach this unit to my kiddies.....they are going to LOVE it!  Here is a preview of what comes with this unit:

I also have a craft I am making to go with this unit.  It's really simple and FUN!  I'll be posting a pic of that later today.  Take a look and let me know what you think.  The link for the complete description is HERE.

Happy New Year to all!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I can NOT believe Christmas Break is almost over!  I've been sick for most of it too :(   My man generously gave me his head cold.  It's progressively gotten worse each day. Today, my back hurts so bad from coughing and sneezing!  Didn't keep me from running out to the book store though :)  Got some new books for my kiddies with some of the gift cards they gave me for Christmas. 

Stay tuned.....I'm working on a really cute "Arctic Animals" unit.  Getting SUPER excited with each page I make :)

Okay, New Year's Resolutions.....can you tell I'm a procrastinator when it comes to this?!?!?!  I am linking up with a lot of AMAZING bloggers out there on this linky party.  We are listing both a personal resolution and a blogging resolution, so here it goes..........

   This will be the year of personal and financial focus for me (sounds like a Chinese New Year ~ The year of the dragon :)  This year I want to lose LOTS of weight. I've neglected myself for way too long.  I just had knee surgery in October which was to blame for not being able to exercise but NO MORE! 

   I also want to really get my finances in order.  This whole "fiscal cliff" thing scares me!  I have a daughter going into college next year and a son who is a freshman in H.S.  I am a single mother to them and therefore, mainly responsible for their financial well-being.  I want to take the necessary steps to make my money work for me instead of the other way around. 

   I definitely want to add more to this blog.  My first goal is to get my camera charged and start taking pictures of some of the cute things I made for little to no money.  There are great resources out there and I'd like to share them with you.  Second, I want to focus on making more FREEBIES!!!  I mean, c'mon, who doesn't like free stuff (other than that baby on the commerical)?

If you want to link up to this, head on over to The Teacher's Cauldron by clicking on her button below:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

MLK Day Activities

I am very excited about this new creation.  I've been working on this one for the last two days (gotta love holiday "breaks.")  Anyway, I wanted to create something practical yet useful to celebrate MLK day with my kiddies.  I ended up creating a few things, lol.

First, I really wanted something FUN for them to do and relate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's message.  The idea of peace and caring is sometimes VERY difficult for Kinders to understand.  So I wanted to create a game that they would enjoy playing but would still get the "message."  Here it is....

This game is designed for a small group such as a Literacy, Math or Theme center (2-4 players.)  Students use a bingo chip or other small marker and one die.  For my kiddies, this activity reinforces one-to-one correspondence for counting and being able to count numbers on a die.  Students land on spaces such as "Give your friend a compliment" or "Shake hands with a friend."    I can't wait to play this with my kiddies!

I bundled this game board with a story I WROTE!  I looked everywhere to find something that would explain what MLK believed in but something that wasn't over their heads.  Needless to say, I couldn't find I wrote my own.  I guess that means I'm an author now :)  This story is a child-friendly story called "A Boy Named Martin."  I wanted the children to be able to relate to MLK's message of peace in a practical, kid-friendly way.  This story is about MLK as a young child, just like them. 

To download the entire bundle just click HERE.

I also created another original story to serve more as an Early Reader.  This too, has MLK's message in child-friendly language.  This story could serve as a Guided Reading or Daily 5 book for the Early Reader.  To download the early reader story (game board is not included in this product) just click HERE.

Okay, off to work on some lesson plans, have dinner with my man and some organizing tonight :)  Hope you are having a restful Winter Break!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Time to Organize

Warning......LONG post :)

I woke up this morning feeling very relaxed after spending the holiday with family.  My own children are teenagers now so it has been a BIG adjustment for me to realize Christmas is changing for my family.  No more waking up at the crack of dawn, tearing through wrapping paper to find that desired toy.  Christmas morning is now sending the dogs in to their bedrooms at 10:00am, begging them to wake up or we'll be late for the family party!  Now I've had at least two cups of coffee before we get started, lol.

The day after Christmas has always been one of great determination for me.  I guess it's because I'm not running around making plans for school or gathering crafts for those million holiday projects anymore.  The holiday shopping is done.  The decorations are already up.  The cookies are already baked and eaten.  I wake up this day knowing it is time for ME.  A time to tackle all of those projects swirling around in my head since September.  A time to regroup and refocus on my classroom.  A time to reflect on what is working and, more importantly, what ISN'T!  This is my favorite day!

I was given a brand new classroom in September, which is truly the "penthouse" of the building.  The space is huge and bright!  The only problem is that everything had to be ordered (desks, bookshelves, etc.) for this new space and didn't arrive until 2 hours before Kindergarten Orientation.  Needless to say, it was a race to get everything set up before the kiddies arrived.  Now is the time I want to reflect on the space and get to all those things I didn't have time for in September.  A HUGE item on my to-do list was my  "Sub Tub."  Fortunately, I haven't had to call out on short notice but we all know it can happen.  I've been wanting to set up my tub for those emergencies just in case.  I had a document I made a while ago that I've wanted to update.  Well, ta-da!  Here it is......

There are 13 pages in this document.  Included are:
     * Student Information Cards
     * Important information for the sub (i.e. Grade partners, Fire Drill
        procedures, Attendance routines, etc.)
     * An entire page for plans for Reading/Literacy, Math, Science,
        Social Studies,Word Work, Guided Reading and a blank page for
        your own editing)
I created this product with a black-and-white polka dot & purple color scheme.  I absolutely LOVE it and can't wait to set mine up.  My tub will be sectioned off for each subject.  I plan to have "emergency" work in each category and filler-activities in case of extra time.  I hope find this useful!  To download this product click here.

Another product I finally finished is a Classroom Starter Pack.  This product includes everything you need to set up your classroom (in September or mid-year) or to spruce it up.  The pack includes:

   * A complete calendar set ~ Number cards, Months  of the Year,
      Days of the Week, Today is, Yesterday was, etc. cards (all blue
      with apple clipart),
   * Two behavior management posters
   * Ten Frame posters (1-10)
   * Daily Schedule cards
   * Center signs
   * Bin labels

I am willing to color customize this project......but only for my AMAZING blog followers :)  If you have a particular color-theme in your classroom, let me know.  If you need specific Center signs or bin labels, no problem.  Download the product and e-mail me at and I'll be glad to update the file and e-mail it back to additional cost!

Here is the link to download this product..... {Classroom Starter Pack

I hope you enjoy these products.  If you are looking for a specific product that I don't have posted, please comment below and leave your e-mail.  I will gladly work on it for you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

First Milestone!

I am soooo happy to report that today I sold my 100th product from my TpT Store.  I'm so thrilled with passing this milestone.  To have come so far in just a month is amazing to me.  I am still in awe knowing people, fellow teachers, are using my products in their classroom - INSANE!

Although I am still at the very beginning of this journey I like to stop along the way for these mini-celebrations.  I love having this creative outlet and the fact that people like what I do.....that's just awesome!

Hope you week is going by quickly.  Only 2 more days but who is counting :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Today's post is made with a heavy heart for all those precious little ones who lost their lives on Friday by simply going to school.  I cannot imagine the utter chaos and terror that happened within those walls.  As teachers, I am sure so many of us have been deeply affected as well.  I, for one, have been reviewing procedures in my head all weekend to assure I would know exactly what to do in an emergency.

On those stressful days, we've all questioned why we chose this profession.  We've all cried after failed lesson or sat up at night wondering how to get through to that distant child.  This devestating tragedy led me to confirm what I already knew......I would, without hesitation, do anything necessary to protect my little ones.

Today, I choose to remember the hero's who died protecting those little children.  They, no doubt, saved countless lives with their heroic actions.  May they all rest in peace!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sight Word Practice

Happy Monday!  Man oh man was I dragging today!  This weekend went wayyyy too fast. 

I apologize in advance for the long posting but I feel like I've been neglecting my blog.  I have a few cute things I wanted to share with you. I started this at the beginning of the year with my kiddies because those sight words are sooo darn important at this age.  We call them "Popcorn Words" because these words pop-up in a lot of our books.  I have two doors in my classroom and this summer when I was shopping at the teacher store I found these adorable popcorn basket cards.  I bought them having no idea what I would do with them but figured I'd find a way to put them to good use.  Here's what I did with them...........

Whenever the kids leave the room to go to the bathroom (every 5 minutes) or run an errand they tap out their sight words.  One one door I have this week's words and on the other door I put last week's words.  It really helps to have the extra week so they don't forget them!  The kids enjoy doing it too which is a bonus :)

We just finished our Bears Unit last week.  I have a very smart group of kids this year but they've been struggling in writing.  I came up with a fun activity for them where they get to create a bear of their own.  We started by making a brown construction paper collage over a blackline bear image.  When we were done all the gluing, the kids cut the bears in half (it really helps to have a sample to show them.)  Surprisingly, no one cried at cutting the bears, lol.  I gave them pre-measured and pre-cut paper to write about their bears.   We glued the paper in between the two halves and voila....we had an adorable writing piece.  The kids enjoyed naming their bears and telling me all about them!

"My bear's name is Luke. He likes tree(s). He likes to play with me."

Sooooo proud of them!


Finally, I introduced some new games to my kiddies today.  They played Crazy Candy Canes for the first time.  I couldn't believe how much they got into the game!  It was a huge hit for them and psstt....don't tell them they were actually reviewing their sight words :)  We also played Christmas Roll and Record, Too today.  That game is always a hit with my kiddies!  I truly believe the games & activities I make MUST BE FUN or the kids won't want to play it.  If it's fun then the learning just happens. 

That's it for now - I warned you it was a long one :)  Hope you have a GREAT week!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Add & Record

Happy Sunday!  I can't believe how FAST the weekend goes!  I have so many things on my to-do list every weekend and I wake up Sunday morning feeling overwhelmed!  I wanted to finish putting up my Christmas decorations today but we'll see :)

Here is a cute little activity I made this weekend.  I plan to introduce this to my kids this week.  A lot of them are ready for addition and some are already beyond this so a higher-level activity is coming soon.

This product includes 3 game mats, 14 simple addition cards for each game, and counter pieces.  The materials you need are pom-poms, cotton balls, or something to mark off the spaces on the game board.  The game is recommended for 1-2 players.  Place all addition cards face down or in a bag.  The first student chooses a card and reads the number sentence.  They can use the counter pieces to complete the addition sentence.  They mark off the answer on the game board.  They will when all of the answers are marked off of the game board.  You can download this product by clicking the picture, or by clicking here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas FREEBIE!

Time for a freebie for my wonderful followers and teacher friends.  I printed these for my kids this week (didn't want to introduce X-mas theme too soon or they'll go bananas!) and they were a huge hit!  Simply print all the pages and assemble the die (there are two games included.)  Students roll the die and record the results on the attached worksheet.  It's a really fun activity and an instant Math Center the kiddies will love!  Hope they enjoy!

                        Click on either picture to download your copy.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Anytime Center" Activities

In my school district, we use something called "Center Maps" for students to tell which center activities they should complete on a given day.  They are pre-made maps that have pictures to designate a center.  I personally am not a fan of these maps.  In some ways, I do like how they are straight-forward and kid-friendly.  What I don't like is that, based on the current set up, students visit the same centers multiple times in one week.  Although Kinder hasn't started using the maps yet, we are due to introduce them soon. 

In my room, I've been using my own version of centers thus far.  It's based similarly but at this point, students move as a whole table group.  They are not yet grouped by reading levels, etc. We do sooooo many assessments at the beginning of the year to get those baseline levels that center time is when I do most of my testing.  As we get further into the year, I am now getting ready to introduce Guided Reading groups.

We currently work on a 6-day rotation of 4 groups (not negotiable) so I'm forced to come up with a TON of center activities.  What I have come up with is to introduce "anytime centers."  Let's say Johnny goes to the Math center on Day 1 and works on the activity I have in that center.  When Johnny goes back to the Math center on Day 4 I would instantly hear, "Ms. Hill, I'm done that center!"  So instead, when a student is done their main activity (which is usually theme or skill focused) they are allowed to get an "anytime center."  I keep a variety of games / center activities available to the kids that they can choose from.  All of my games / activities have specific skills that we have practiced in class so the kids have already been introduced to that skill.  It seems to be working really well. 

The activities below are things I would put in my anytime centers.

This activity is READY MADE!  I'm all about print-and-go activities!   This is called "Winter Roll and Record."  It is the same as my Christmas version.  The kids love these games.  There are a total of 10 different winter-themed playing mats in this pack.  To access this game on my TpT Store click the preview picture below.

A few days ago, I posted a Christmas Bingo game.  Do your kiddos love Bingo as much as my kids do????  The go crazy for Bingo!  There are 10 differnt Christmas Bingo mats in this pack, all holiday-themed.  Click the picture to access this pack.

Last, "Hot Chocolate" is another favorite for my kiddies.  This is played just like Poisonous Spiders and Crazy Candy Canes.  Hot chocolate is a winter-themed activity that goes in my literacy anytime center bin.  Students practice sight word and don't even realize it.  To me, that is the BEST kind of learning :)   Because I have such a wide variety of readers in my class this year, I made the sight words to include Pre-Primer and Primer.  Click the picture to access this pack.

When I sit down to make an activity, the most important thing to me is that it is practical.  I am able (and do) use every center activity I made and publish on here.  These center activities are also favorites of my students!  I hope your students enjoy them just as much!

Have a great week!


The Liebster Award!

Thank you so much to Meg at for nominating me for the Liebster Award!  The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.  I hope that sharing the news about some of these "newer" blogs helps them get more followers!
Here are the rules:
-You must post 11 random things about yourself.

-Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.

-Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.

-Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.

-No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you!

11 Random Things about Me

   1.  I am now officially obsessed with blogging!
2.  I HATE getting up early.
3.  I could eat pizza every day.
4.  I have the two cutest dogs in the world!
5.  Even though everyone tells me I'm very patient, I always strive for more patience.
6.  I am obsessed with writing neatly.
7.  Christmas is my favorite holiday.
8.  I love my new family.
9.  I truly have the best kids in the world!
10.  I'd love to learn more about graphic design.
11 Questions For My Nominees…
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?    Aruba

What is one of your most memorable moments in teaching?  When one of my students e-mailed me the morning of my surgery to tell me he loved me!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Probably cereal

Name a favorite book you have read in recent years.   The Other Wes Moore.

Name one of your favorite childhood TV shows.  Tom & Jerry

If you had to spend a day at a sporting event, what would you attend?  Gymnastics

PC or Mac?  PC

Night owl or early riser?  Night Owl

Favorite current TV show or movie?  The Voice

What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas

If you could do any other job, what would you do?  Graphic Design

Blogs I'm Nominating    

11 Questions to Answer:

1.   What do you love best about blogging?
2.   Your favorite food?
3.   If you weren't teaching, what would you do?
4.   Are you married / single?
5.   Favorite subject to teach?
6.   Favorite season?
7.   Favorite holiday?
8.   Least favorite holiday, and why?
9.   Favorite food?
10. Favorite store?
11. Favorite day of the week, and why?

Good luck to all!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cyber Monday SALE!!!!!

This is a biggie! 

I am having a HUGE Cyber Monday (plus Bonus Tuesday) sale at my TpT Store. This is my first sale on TpT so I hope you are able to take advantage of it!  EVERYTHING I have posted in my store is 20% off for two days only.  When purchasing any product, use the promo code:  CMT12 and your 20% will be taken off at check-out. Use this link to browse my store and let me know if you have any questions. 
You can preview everything out now and add items to your wishlist.  Monday and Tuesday, they will be ready to go!  As always, following my blog or leaving feedback is HUGELY appreciated!  Thanks!


Friday, November 23, 2012


I know I've been posting a lot about activities I've made.  I'm trying to build up my TpT Store before the holidays!  We just finished report card conferences this past week.  I try to offer a wide variety of hours because a lot of my parents work full-time.  It does make for very long days but the bonus for me is I get time in between to work on my room.

I am in a brand new classroom this year which I refer to as "the penthouse."  I have a HUGE room and all new furniture.  The problem was my furniture didn't get delivered until the very last minute in August so I didn't have a lot of time to get things set up.  I made sure the kids activities were where they needed to be but my things just got shoved onto shelves.  I like to think of myself as a very organized person so this has been driving me crazy!!!!  It was sooooo nice to have organization time this past week.

The biggest thing that was bothering me were my shelves and library (my personal library.)  It felt great to get everything neat and organized.  I had a ton of books all mixed up.  I used magazine boxes to organize by month/theme/author. 

I hate when I want to read a book or do an activity and I can't find what I need.  Now, everything is neat and tidy!  I also tackled my binders.  As teachers, we collect sooooo many papers and resources.  Now I have everything filed nice and neat (can you read O.C.D.)

Today's project is to work on some of my anchor charts to get them updated.  Will post when done.  Hope you're having a nice break!


Crazy Candy Canes

This is a game adapted for the holiday theme.  It is similar to Poisonous Spiders.  I can't tell you how much my kiddies love playing this game.  They get soooo into it that they don't even realize they are practicing their sight words!  So I've adapted it for the holiday's and called it Crazy Candy Canes.

There are three different game sets so multiple groups can play.  I recommend 2-3 players per game.  Place all cards face down on the table.  Player 1 flips a card and tries to read the sight word. If he/she reads it correctly they get to keep the card. Player 2 repeats.  If a player flips over a Candy Cane card, they lose all their cards.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

December Complete Center Collection

Happy Turkey  Day!!!!!  I have to say I had one of the best Thanksgiving days this year.  And I did NOTHING!  My bf has been working like a dog lately and I just finished 3 looooong days of report card conferences.  My own kiddos spent the day with their dad so it was just him and I.  I had the most relaxing day ever!  It will be really nice to spend the day with family next year but for this year, this was just what I needed!

I had time this morning to finish up my center set for December.  I'm SUPER excited about this!  These are the same centers I will be using in my classroom with some additional ones.  This collection is loaded with activities for each week in December.  There is a letter matching activity, number sequencing up to 30, Holiday Writing pages, Read it, Trace it, Paste it activities, December writing word cards, and more! 

                                           Download your copy here.

I hope your students enjoy it!  PLEASE leave feedback on my TpT site once you download the set.  Also, if you have something in particular you'd like to see just leave me a comment below and I'll get started on it!  Thanks for visiting!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

December Calendar Set

I'm SUPER excited today.  I was driving to work and Christmas music was on the radio.  Some years, most in fact, I dread hearing Christmas music this early.  I guess it's just part of the holiday bug I caught this year.  Now, let me tell you, I am shocked I'm in the spirit this year.....especially at this point.  My man has started a new job and he's working TONS of hours.  All this week he is actually staying at a hotel near the job site because it's too far away to drive back and forth.  My daughter just totaled her car (thankfully, she is fine.)  I am turning the big 4 - 0 next week.  I say this only because I have a lot of reasons to NOT be in the holiday spirit but for some reason I am :)

When I went to Dunkin Donuts to get my morning juice today, I bumped into a nice older gentleman.  We made small talk while we waited in line.  He said he was on disability and had a pacemaker put in a few months back.  Long story short, when we got up to the register I asked if I could buy him a coffee.  It just blurted right out of me.  Of course, at first he said no but I didn't give up (very unlike me.)  I told him it would make me feel good if he would let me.  He finally agreed.  I am not telling this story to make myself look good.  I'm telling it because it really made me feel good.  I left the store in a great mood!  I drove to work in a great mood.  And it carried through my day.  So I decided I am going to try to do at least one simple good deed until Christmas.  If everyone reading my blog did the same, this would be a pretty cool place to live!

Okay, enough about my warm fuzzy feelings :)  I finished making my December Calendar set just in time.....whew!  I am printing and laminating mine tomorrow so they are ready to go when the kiddies come back after the holiday. 

                           Download your set here.

This set includes calendar cards in three different colors - yup, three sets of cards!  The sets come in burgundy, light green and blue, each with a holiday image.  The set also includes the Days of the Week cards, the "Today is, Yesterday was, Tomorrow will be" set and the "December" month card (all in the three colors.)  Hope you enjoy!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Bear Unit

Happy Monday!  Today I attended all day training on our Math program (Everyday Math.)  I must say, the program has come a long way since I started using it.  Our district bought the deluxe online package and it really has a lot to offer.  At the training we discussed the CCS a lot and unlike others, it got me pretty excited.  WHY you ask? Is it because I'm crazy?  Well, yes, but no :)

I'm actually excited because my district will move completely to CCS by next year.  This gives me the opportunity to begin aligning my activities NOW.  I feel like I will be soooo ahead of the curve for once!  Woo Hoo!

I just finished my Bear Unit for next week.  Included in this pack are 3 Literacy activities (all can be instant centers) and 2 Math activities.  We are practicing a lot of tally marks in Kindergarten these days.  The math activities include matching the number word to the tally mark and ten frame.  The Literacy activities are tiered activities.  They include letter matching (upper/lowercase) for those kiddos who still need the practice, Sight Word Memory, and the more advanced Scrambled Sentences.

                         Download the complete unit here

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful....and a FREEBIE

I am a very reflective person. There is nothing better in my world than a day at the beach spent people-watching and thinking.  It is very theraputic to me!  One day this summer, I was thinking about how I got to this point in my teaching career.  There are so many people who helped me, friends, etc. There are so many people who influenced my teaching and me as a person.  I am so thankful to each and every one of them for riding along this journey with me.

I was thinking back to my days of student teaching.  I remember walking in the first day absolutely TERRIFIED!  I was so afraid everyone would find out I had no idea what I was doing.  I remember waiting in the office for my cooperating teacher to arrive.  I'll never forget when she bounced into the office with a smile on her face.  I probably looked like a deer in headlights but she put me to ease right away.  We went to the classroom and her laid-back style instantly put me at ease.  I'll never forget my time with her and the laughs we had that semester.  She was so willing to let me learn everything I could about teaching.  I owe a lot to alot of people but that semester was the real turning point for me.  That was the time I knew I was exactly where I belonged in this world!  Thanks Nancy!

Okay, I wanted to post a FREEBIE to all those just starting out.  This is little something I keep hanging in my writing center as a reference guide.  Students are also allowed to use this throughout the day as needed.  I printed and laminated them, punched a hole in the upper corner and hung from a book ring. Enjoy!  (Sorry for the glare!)

                         Download Number Word Cards

                        Download Color Word Cards

My First Linky Party!

Well I hope this works.....I'm joining my first linky party courtesy of 1..2..3...Teach with Me.  Love her blog and her new one "Dots" of Fun!  Super-cute stuff on there so check it out if you have a chance.

This linky is about Christmas and as I said in an earlier post, I'm really feeling the holiday spirit this year. I've held off on starting the Christmas music but I am looking forward to it.  I'm planning on decorating this coming weekend and figured I would start playing it then.

It's funny to me that of all the year's, I feel like I shouldn't be in the spirit this year.  Money is VERY tight this year!  I'm busier than I've ever been and I am turning the DREADED 4-0 next week.  These are all things that are causing me a little stress so I guess Christmas will be a nice divergence!

Anyway, here is a glimpse at what is inspiring me this year......



 I just love decorations with pine cones....totally makes me think of Christmas!  The second image reminds me of spending time with my friends and family during the holiday's. We may have our differences throughout the year but everything is put aside during the holidays.  And best of all, the third picture reminds me of the time snuggling with my man in front of a fire with the tree lit in the background.

So join in to the linky party and get the spirit!


2012 Edublog Award

I would like to post my nominations for the 2012 Edublog Award.  Here we go:

New Blog:  "What's New in Room 202" ~ This new blog is by a fifth grade teacher.  She has fun, innovative ways to get the kids truly interested in learning.  Her blogs are detailed and original filled with great ideas and tips.  A MUST check out:

Group Blog: Awesome sight for free resources from a variety of amazing bloggers


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Poisonous Spiders

Happy Saturday!  My doggies got me up pretty early today :(  I was really hoping to sleep in a bit but oh well.  Around Halloween, I made this activity for my students.  At that point, we only had a limited number of sight words so I couldn't make too many cards.  I thought they might like it but oh man, they LOVED playing this game.  I promised them I would make more cards as we learned more sight words.  So here they are.  Even though it is Halloween themed, this activity can be used year round.

In this pack are three games.  Each game can have 2-4 players.  You can download the pack here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Word Hunt

Happy Friday!

Do your students get bored during Library Center time?  I know my kiddos do.  Early in the year, they have been exposed to a limited amount of text.  They are still learning those basic sight words so finding books just right for them can be challenging.  This activity is something my kids really enjoy.  I place these Word Hunt papers in the Library Center. Before they read their book they are allowed to go on a Word Hunt to look for the given words. Each time they find a word they make a tally mark (can you say integrated math?!?!)  This allows each student to preview the text before reading and to identify known words in the story.

I am offering this activity FREE!  I've included a blackline page that is blank so you can customize this activity to your own sight words.  I hope you find it helpful!  Click here to download.


Ten Frames

Report cards......UGH!  Our report cards are due tomorrow.  I only have a few comments to finish but they seriously drain me!  We had our annual Turkey Feast for our kiddos today.  We have 4 Kindergarten teachers.  Two cook the turkey's....not ME, and the other two do the shopping.  Although it is exhausting, it is nice to see the kids together enjoying a thanksgiving dinner/lunch.

I am truly blessed to have a high-level group of kiddos this year.  It's a lot of fun making games and activities that are a little bit harder than I've made in the past.  This group likes to be challenged and try new things too which is even better.  Tonight I made a Ten Frame activity for my kids to practice.  We've been reviewing Ten Frames to 10 but I think they are ready to move on, especially since we've been focusing on teen numbers.  This activity includes numbers 1-20.  My kids also like to use the dry erase markers any chance they get so I just laminate these types of activities and let them go.  If you don't have access to dry erase markers or would rather not use them, Bingo counters or buttons work just as well. When you download the activity, cut the pages in half for individual ten frame cards.  To preview or download click here.

TIP:  When using dry erase markers on laminated papers it can be hard getting the marker to erase.  Try Magic Erasers, they work wonders.  I buy them at the dollar store and cut them into three sections.  They last a really long time!

I will print the activity tonight and try to upload a pic tomorrow.  To get your, click here.

Tootles ~

Hidden Sight Words

As I was walking down the hallway at school this week I heard our 4th grade choir practicing for the upcoming Christmas Concert.  I was instantly inspired with the holiday spirit!  I haven't been feeling the spirit the last few years so I am thrilled to be feeling it now, especially since Christmas is my favorite holiday.

I got to thinking about one of my favorite activities as a kid.  My siblings and I would all fight to get my grandmother's copy of the Sunday Comics just so we could complete the hidden pictures puzzle. I LOVED finding each object hidden in the picture.  I've been wanting to create something similar for my kiddies at school so I thought this would be a great opportunity.

I absolutely LOVE the country cottage images.  I took the image above and hid 20 sight words from the Dolch Primer list.  Just provide your kiddos with a magnifying glass (dollar store item) and voila, you have an integrated Literacy / Writing center!

To download this product click here.  Hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Transportation Labels

Whew, what a day!  I still find it amazing how funny (and frank) kinders can be.  The private conversations they have are hysterical.  They definitely keep me on my toes!

I must say I am totally loving this blogging thing.   I was driving home tonight thinking about how I want my blog to look, what I want to say, and what I want people to be able to get out of it.  So I got to thinking what it is I love about reading other people's blogs.  What it boils down to is I enjoy the process of learning and the process of teaching.  I also love the process of learning from others - taking one idea and turning it into two or three different ideas.  Reading other blogs inspires me.  I want that for my blog - I want people to feel inspired and full of ideas when they leave.  I know it will take time to build up this lil ole blog but I am working at it.  I have to keep reminding myself it will get there in time.

So last night I worked on some Transportation Labels - for lack of a better term.  I use these in my classroom this year and LOVE them!  I used to stress when parents would write a note to let me know little Susie wouldn't be a car rider but a walker that day. I would worry that with the 8 million things running through my head that I would totally forget by the end of the day. 

All that you need are the labels and come colorful ribbon.  I added the pictures at the bottom for decorative purposes.  There is an image on each label that identifies car, bus, walker or after school program.  I wrote each child's name on cardstock and hot glued it onto clothespins I got at the dollar store.  Super Simple!  Now, when a note comes in from home changing the dismissal routine, I simply move that child's name from one to the other and forget about it.  I have this posted right next to my door so I know which student goes in which line.
The labels in my pack include 25 different borders - polka dots, solids, stripes, etc., but all with the same designations.  This pack can be downloaded at my TpT store by clicking here.  If you need something different written on the labels, just e-mail me and I will customize them. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Numbers 1-6

One of the many challenges teachers face is how to address the needs of every ability level in your class.  This year I have students reading on a 2nd grade level and those who do not know their letters or numbers.  To say this makes things difficult is an understatement!  I am very fortunate to have helpers from an upper grade come in at the end of the day. I've deliberately made games for my students who need to learn the basics and have my 6th grade helpers play with them.  They LOVE working with the older students and vice versa!

One of the skills my students need is to be able to identify numbers 1-10 by mid-point in the year. I feel this is too much in the beginning so I focus on 1-5/6.  We also introduce dice fairly early on in the year so I made a game to combine the two......Dice Race Games.  It's very simple to play and the kids can independently get the materials they need to play.....YAY!   I pair one uppergrade student with one kindergarten student.  Students gain practice in number identification as well as counting and identifying number on a die.  Best of all, the kids LOVE playing the game and don't even realize they are learning!  I will post a pic of the game tomorrow - left my camera in school :)

To access this game in my TpT Store, click here.

Sight Word Hopscotch

I'm on a roll tonight so I figured I would keep going.  First, I would like to say thank you to all the amazing veterans out there.  I am in awe of the sacrifices you made and continue to make!

I created this document as another way for my kids to practice their sight words.  The girls love to play hopscotch so I turned it into a game and they really love playing it!  I provide each student with a colored pom-pom (available at the dollar store.)  They can find a partner or play alone.  There are a total of 14 different hopscotch boards.  The words include number words, color words, and words from the Dolch list.  Just print out on cardstock for durability, laminate or put into a sheet protector, and voila, you have an instant center activity!

Click here to get your hopscotch boards from my TpT store.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sight Word Freebie

I figured a good way to start off my blog is to give away a FREEBIE! I know how much I love getting freebies so here it is. My kids absolutely love playing this game. I like creating lots of games for my kids to practice their "popcorn" words. We call them popcorn words because they "pop" up in all of our books. As you know, these words are soooo important to the emergent reader. Since we are only in the first three months of school, these boards only contain the words they've learned. As they learn more, I update the boards.

There are a number of ways to set up the game based on the resources you have. I am blessed to have access to a laminator in school so I print these out on cardstock and laminated them. The kids can use expo markers and play away! If you do not have access to laminating, you can place them in a clear protector sheet and they can mark right on them. You can also use colored pom-poms to mark your spot. The best part is these boards are completely editable so you can change the words to suit your needs. Hope you enjoy!

Click here to get your game boards.


Welcome to my blog!!!

Hi all! I've been wanting to do this FOREVER but I could never seem to figure things out or I just never had enough time - who does? So anywho, I wanted to have an outlet for sharing some of the things that I use in my classroom all the time. These resources have helped me a great deal. I am a firm believer in making learning FUN! There is nothing worse as a teacher than looking at 25 bored faces. I love creating games to teach / reinforce the skills my students need to learn to be successful.

I am incredibly blessed with a high-level group of students this year. In fact, I've been a little caught off guard by how advanced some of them are. This is my 3rd year teaching Kinder and I'm still compiling my resources. I haven't focused as much on advanced games because the need wasn't there. I've been following some other bloggers who tier their activities and I LOVE the idea! I want each activity to be challenging but not frustrating.

I hope you enjoy my blog. I'll be posting soon with some exciting games / activities for kinders. I'm always open to suggestions as well. Thanks for reading :)

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