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.
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