Merry Christmas and a $50 TpT Certificate Giveaway!

I am going to keep this post short and sweet.

First, because  I am very, very tired.  This glorious Christmas season is about to start kicking, and all I want is a nap! :)

Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

I hope your season is blessed.  

We celebrated Christmas at my house last night with my side of the family.  I was so proud of the chalkboard art (I looked at this lovely design on Esty) I drew (my first one) before they arrived.  I thought it summed up the purpose for the season nicely.

Sorry for the terrible lighting.  The walls are greige I, promise.

And last but not least, this is a wonderful time of year to reflect upon what we are thankful for and the blessings in our life.  My life has been so blessed by my blog, Facebook friends, and all the wonderful people at TpT.  It has truly made a huge difference in my life, and has allowed me this amazing opportunity to stay at home with my little girls.  I am so grateful.

To celebrate, I am giving away one $50 gift certificate to TpT. 

There are two ways to enter, follow my blog or my Facebook page, or both I guess! :) . One winner will be chosen on Dec 26th at midnight. 

Good luck and may all your days be Merry and Bright!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Christmas Fun and Freebies to Get You Through the End of the Week!

Hey guys!

I am going to keep this short and sweet.  My baby girl has the icks.  They were super cute and fun on Sunday and then she had a stomach bug in the middle of the night.  No fun! :(

We took pictures for our Christmas cards yesterday- we are a bit behind!  I learned that getting a 4 year old and 18 month old to smile AND look at the camera at the same time is impossible. We just rolled with it. :)

I thought I would put together a few FREEBIES (new and old) to help you get through the end of the month.

Christmas coupon book for parents.  This is FREE and is a super cheap gift for parents.  If you can make copies and have crayons, glue, and scissors, then you got this.  And it is FREE.  Even better!

This is an oldie, but goodie.

Cute little reindeer card with tracers for students to make.  Easy and cute.  And free- even better!

Another oldie.  This was from last year's Winter e-book.

Have  you ever made the cinnamon and applesauce ornaments before?  So easy and they make your room smell wonderful! This pack has the directions and recipe, as well as a cute way to wrap it using paper plates!! For real!  If you are going to make these, I suggest that your class makes them ASAP. They can sometimes take awhile to dry (if you don't bake them).  It all depends on the humidity level.  Some years it takes longer (several days) than others (overnight). 

I did just post this little January pack.  It has all kinds of fun and novel literacy activities.  They require VERRRY little prep.  Most just need crayons, a paperclip, a magnifying glass, or a die to complete.

There are 17 different activities that cover a ton of different topics including:

•Verb Tenses (Irregular Past Tense is Included)
•Plural and Singular Nouns
•Common and Proper Nouns
•Identifying Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, and Adverbs
•Compound Words
•Asking and Answering Questions (Fiction and Nonfiction)

They would be great for partner activities or even independent centers during guided reading. They are open ended, too so they really require kids to THINK! The pack is super cheap too- only $3!

This is the first pack I have made like this, so I would be curious if this is something you would like to see more of....

And...shhh.. last night I released an exclusive sampler of it to my Facebook flowers.  If you want to check out the freebie, hop on over to my Facebook and check out this post!  Enjoy!



Tips for Making Gingerbread Houses in Class

Have you every thought this?

And then this happens?

I have made gingerbread houses with several classes and got it down pat.  For the most part, we all looked like this...

Happy and covered in candy.

Are any of you guys making gingerbread houses this year?  I LOVED doing this with my kids as a celebration.  They LOVED it!  It can be easy and lots of fun.  Here are a few ""tips" I have collected over the years.

1.) Make sure to buy CHINET plates. Yes, they are expensive but they are SO worth it. The weight of the plates holds up well to kiddo use and abuse and icing overload.  I liked the dinner plates without any of the dividers.

2.) Collect milk cartons from the cafeteria several days in advance so you can rinse them out and let them air dry before making them (ewww, stinky sour milk smell!). I always collected them and then let them air dry on the counters in my classroom.   I was VERY lucky to have a sink in my room.

3.) Use a stapler to staple the top of the houses closed. Then, hot glue the milk cartons to the Chinet plates the day before you make them.  This makes it SO much easier for students rather than trying to use icing to cement it to the place...which never works.

4.) Cover the student's work tables.  This sounds obvious.  Like common sense, right?  Yeah, well not my first year!  Whoops! You can use cheap plastic table clothes from the Dollar Store, newspaper, or butcher paper.

4.) I made the building time as low key as possible.  Students shared a tub of icing (no licking!). They went "shopping for decorations." I laid out all the candies and each student was given a Styrofoam bowl.  They told me what they wanted and I filled the bowls.  If they wanted more candy (and there was extra), students raised their hands and I refilled the bowl.  I limited student movement.  I explained to them it would be easy to accidentally knock over someone's else's bowl of candies or houses...and that would be sad. Super sad.  Like Sadsville sad.

5.) My kids were always sad to stop building.  They had more candy they wanted to eat, er add to their house!  To make everyone happy, I gave each child a baggie and they dumped all of the candy from their bowls into the baggies.  The icing went into the trash.

6.) The EASIEST way to send home the houses is to use a plastic grocery bag for each child.  Open the bag, set the plate with the house on the bottom of the bag.  Tie the handles together over the roof of the house.  Then, students can just hold the tied handles and the house doesn't fall over.  I also throw in the student's bags of candy in the sack to discourage "unauthorized snacking." Tee hee.

I hope these tips helped.  If you want to see the (editable) parent letter I send home, check this post for the freebie!!



November Freebies

Hello there!

It has been  awhile.  October has been good to us.  We have been doing...stuff.

Like this.

Halloween 2014- A cat, princess, owl and a cowboy.

and  this

We picked the cutest pumpkin in the patch, didn't we?  Not that I am biased or anything ;).


We went to a birthday party at the stables and Kinley was in love.  She wanted to keep going around and around and around.  

A family get-away to the mountains. Doesn't everyone look thrilled and all "family-like?!?!?"

October was amazing, but let's bring on the November fun! 

 Ummm...turkey!! Yum!

To celebrate I sent a note to my TPT store followers!  Are you a follower?  I sure hope so! Inside your note is an EXCLUSIVE 40 PLUS page FREEBIE for my followers! Woo hoo!

So how do you get yours?

Go to your TpT dashboard and click on the "My TpT" drop down box in the top right. Then select "Inbox."

Click on the message from me titled "Happy November!" Make sure to click on the title of the message and not my name or it will take you back to my store!

I did make a mistake and somehow the freebie isn't a live hyper link.  However, if you just cut and paste the link into a new internet window, it pops up just fine!!




Number Sense and RTI

I am so excited to share this next little guy with you.  Apparently, I need to get more excitement in my life, because some of you may be disappointed! LOL!

This next project of mine came about at the request of a former college and friend (Holla atcha’ Angie!).  I think she, like I did (and the rest of nation, in my humble little opinion), was struggling with coming up with simple and effective RTI interventions. Then, she had to create all the probes and figure out a way to track progress.

That last year I taught I had about eleven kids on RTI at one point or another.  It was like WHOA Nelly! Tons of paper work and really was a logistical nightmare.

So, after conferencing with my friend and shuddering at my past memories, I decided to come up with something to make RTI more streamlined. This is the product I *wish* I had when I was in the classroom.

I developed This Number Sense RTI Pack. It contains four skills with a few different interventions for each skill. Each skill has at least two interventions. I focused on these four skills, which I felt would improve number sense and automaticity of basic math facts.
        Ten Frame Addition
        Making Ten
        Making Ten Addition Strategy
        Number Bonds

I also wrote 6 probes for each skill that are set up identically with different problems.  At the end of each section is a data tracking sheet with a graph to show progress (or lack of).

Want a little peek inside?

Here is an example of some of the interventions.

This is a quick shot of 2 of the 6 probes for Ten Frame Addition.

There is a pretty good bit of stuff included (but no answer keys- I figured the concepts were simple enough that it was an unnecessary waste of pages). Here is a glance at the Table of Contents for more details.

After writing the pack, I wanted to make sure it wasn't all “pie-in–the-sky-fluff” that couldn't be implemented unless you had a small team.  I don’t know about you, but the years I didn't co-teach I was allll alone with just little ol’ me in the classroom. And really even when I DID co-teach, as a general rule, RTI fell under my roles and responsibilities (at least with the general education kids). My co-teacher had her hands full with her own towers of paperwork!

So, I decided to put the pack together, exactly how I would use it in the classroom.  Then, I (gulp) made my first video.  It is rough, people. Go in with VERRRRYYYYY low expectations and I might impress you.  Just might.  No promises.

The video is a tour of organize the pack in a binder and then a quick glance at how to use the binder in the classroom. 

So, hopefully, with this pack you can just grab the binder and enjoy your one-on-one time with students since your materials are all ready to go!

If you want to check this pack out, it is available in my store, here.

Want to try to win a pack?  I am giving away a pack at 9 pm tonight!  You can enter here on my Facebook page!

Want to see how I have organized RTI materials in the past?  Check it out  here

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!



Fall is in the Air! Apples and Such! {FREEBIES}

We have loved our Fall Break! We spent the first part of the trip here...

My two best friends (over 20 years together! Eek!) took my two girls to the beach.  My husband stayed at home to work.  Boo! We had a blast.  We spent 4 days in Myrtle Beach and LOVED it.

All but this one...she is not a fan of waves, sand, salt and all that stuff!  See the tears?

They are there if you look close!

When I came home the temperatures cooled off enough to put me in the mood to decorate the mantel for Halloween/ Fall. It is busy and a bit over the top, but that is how I roll!

Normally, I solely decorate for fall, but I found the cute "spooky" sign and "Happy Halloween" banner in the dollar section at Target.  Of course, they weren't really a dollar! The little white blocks will be ghosts... I just have to paint on the little faces. I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest from Etsy.

We will be making a trip to the apple orchards in a a few weeks and with Johnny Appleseed's birthday coming up, I thought I would share some of my apple favorites!

I wrote this beginning graphing unit and actually used it in my third grade classroom a few years ago. Now, it would probably work best in second. Students create a glyph and then read the glyph.  Students use the glyph to create a bar graph. We also did an apple taste test and created a pictograph as well.

Please forgive the terrible anchor charts.  This is real life...before blogging!

You can download the lesson and the glyph here for FREE!

I also just finished my Johnny Appleseed Interactive Notebook Activities.  I tried to cover as many standards as possible including reading, writing, science and math! 

I really love how it turned out.  I shared an exclusive freebie for my Facebook Friends.  Hop on over to my Facebook page to get your exclusive freebie!

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!



Monday Made it For September

I normally don't get to share any Monday Made Its because well..I don't make it! LOL!  But THIS month I have been on a crafty streak. I am joining up with Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics to share some fun!  I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I love it.  Believe it or not, I originally declared myself as an art major my freshman year, until realized  I wasn't nearly talented enough to make a living wage.  I have missed painting and creating so it has been nice to step back in those shoes for awhile.

So, here we go!!!

I fell in love with this wreath by All Things Katie Marie.  Her tutorial seemed pretty easy, so I decided to give it a go!  I changed up the flowers a bit and added the polka-dot hydrangea, which I LOVE! I intended on putting this on my front door, but so far it has found a home on my mantel.  It was so easy to make that I am making a plain burlap one and I am going to simply change out the decor to make it seasonal for my front door!


(Don't you love that little owl lamp?  I am working on it!  I love Hobby Lobby!)

Do you guys follow Katie Bower over at BowerPower?  Her blog is one of my most favorite blogs EVER. I love her slightly irreverent sense of humor and she is a fellow Georgia blogger so I feel like she lives just around the corner...or several counties over :D. She did a post on some knife art she created and I just loved the colors. I had never heard of knife art, but it looked pretty easy...and it was.  I just followed her directions and BOOM . Modern art!

 I am going to hang this in my foyer to freshen it up a bit. However, my kitchen is a green color so I decided to do a "partner" painting and pair them up.  Instead of doing shades of blue with a wild card green for contrast, I did shades of green with a wild card blue for contrast.  The colors don't show up that well on my camera phone.  I may have to dig out the "BIG CAMERA" so that I can capture the colors better.   I love it! I am working on redecorating the top of the piece I am hanging it above....soon.

I am super proud of this project!  My friends that are still in the classroom are drowning.  Drowning in new evaluations, new administration,  RTI paper work, and day-to-day classroom happenings. A friend mentioned that she wished she had everything she needed for guided math in ONE spot.  So I made it for her! I am hoping that this simplifies planning for guided math and helps teachers reach more students in small groups, because I believe there is a real power there.

This pack has it all: several pre and post tests, lessons for guided math, posters, centers (easy prep!), math journals, independent work, and 2 hands on projects all about place value. Click here to check it out. I am working on an addition one now. Fingers crossed I can get it done soon!

These last two projects are made, just not edited yet.  They are in process.  Is that cheating?

This is a pack of parent letters to explain to families mathematical place value terms like expanded form, standard form, base ten, etc.  The letters defines the term and provides examples. On the bottom of the letter is number cards for the families to cut out and then use to complete an open ended activity (matching the term on the front) on the back of the letter. It has 5 different letters with 10 differentiated activities. I am hoping to get this posted ASAP.

I am in love with this one! My friends again asked for some LOW PREP math centers.  I made a Place Value set and now I am working on two-and three-digit addition! For these centers all you need is to copy the recording sheet and provide a simple manipulative (dice, playing cards, paper clip for a spinner, or base ten blocks.  Boom!  Math center, done! This is finished, I just have to get the edits back.  I hope to have it posted by the end of the week.  Fingers crossed!

And that is all! I have several more craft projects up my sleeve!  Can't wait to share them next month! Here is a sneak peek...


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