Friday, November 30, 2012

Freebie Friday!

Short and sweet tonight, ladies (and gentlemen? maybe?). 
I am all kinds of exhausted but wanted to make sure I linked up...and reminded everybody to check out all of the awesome freebies today at Teaching Blog Addict!

I'll be back soon to share all of the red glitter, glue, gingerbread, grinch, elf, Santa festivities that will be taking place in Room 106 beginning MONDAY!
Until then...try a BACKWARDS word problem with your kiddos next week!  I like to tell them they will STRETCH their brains.
Sometimes, they stretch mine too.

It doesn't take much. ;)
I originally saw this idea on pinterest as a whole group activity, and I made a few for my babies to do on their own (with LOTS of modeling) to include in my Dazzling December math pack because we tried them out at Thanksgiving and LOVED them. 

It's an awesome way to integrate math and writing and challenge our students to use some higher level thinking skills.
Enjoy.  Be sure to check out all of the freebies at TBA! 

Click on the picture below to grab this one. :) 

Happy December!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

GIANT Sale & a Call for HELP!

Sawyer and I are cuddling by the fire this morning... filling up our TPT cart!
Doesn't he just look full of Christmas cheer?
He's pouting because I'm making him leave his dad alone for a little while so that he can catch up on some sleep.  He was up all night running calls at the fire station. does appear that the stockings are on fire but I assure you they are not. ;)

Anyways....make sure you don't miss out on the big sale tomorrow (& Tuesday) on TPT!  Everything in my little store is already on sale starting today...just in case any of you are trying to get ahead with some planning today like I am. :)
This precious graphic was created by Ashley Hughes. I just found out about this talented lady.  A bunch of her clipart is already in my basket for tomorrow!
The newest item in my shop is Math Mega Pack full of Christmas & Winter Themed math activities & games perfect for math tubs/stations as well as whole group instruction & assessment.
There is a lengthy preview available if you want to check it out and see what all is included.  Most of the activities and games focus on number sense and addition/subtraction.  There are a lot of opportunities for differentiation within the packet.  For example... 40 different word problems are included for the story problem book so that you can pick and choose the ones best suited to your students.  Many require higher level thinking skills.  It stretched my little brain just to THINK of them. ;) of my favorite new ideas (pinterest inspired) are these BACKWARDS word problems.  I tried a few out last week before Thanksgiving and the kids loved them because they got to make up weird stories.  I loved the fact that they were using critical thinking skills and that it correlated with writing!  Instead of reading a question and solving to find the answer...students get the answer and have to use their imagination (and their math skills) to write their own story problem.  (think JEOPARDY style!)  So for example...if the answer is "one reindeer,"  the problem could be any number of things. 

"There were 9 reindeer ready to help Santa on Christmas Eve.  8 of them got sick.  How many could still deliver presents?"

The possiblities are endless.  My kiddos came up with some VERY interesting stories about turkeys, pies, and all things Thanksgiving so I can't WAIT to see what they come up with for these. :)

I kept making a HUGE deal about how much smarter they were getting everytime they thought of a story for one of these and they were lovin' it!

Click here to download your free copy and try it out with your students.

There are a bunch more of these included in the Dazzling December Math Pack. :)
  This math pack is aligned to Common Core:
Happy shopping!
And call for help.  I know my blog friends will come through with some great ideas.  I am getting a student teacher right after the holidays and I am *trying* to get a few things ready to welcome her in January.  This is my first student teacher ever! I am excited but nervous and want to make sure she has a great experience.
Any tips would be welcomed and appreciated! 
Enjoy the last day of your break and rest up for the whirlwind month of December.
Happy teaching to you!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Ends & Odds

I am insanely jealous of my teacher friends who have started their Thanksgiving break.  Wednesday afternoon can't come soon enough! I'm ready for some time at home with my boys.  We had our big family Thanksgiving last weekend with my brother's wife's family.  Clear as mud? We started that tradition several years ago when my brother and sister lived in Chicago and couldn't get off of work for "real Thanksgiving" and even though they live close by now...we continue the tradition.  My brother couldn't even go this year because he was presenting at a conference and we still went!  They are fun and we love them like family, so it works. :)  We have an annual cornhole tournament and shuffleboard tournament.  I came in second in cornhole and close to dead last in shuffleboard this year!  Lucky for me, Andy is way better than me and won us some cash!

My kids have been LOVING this little video for a quick brain break the past week or two.  I come home singing  it every daggone day. 

I hope you all are gearing up for a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend as well.  I'm going to try some Black Friday shopping online this year.  We are usually out of town on Thanksgiving but with Andy's firefighter schedule...we just have to go with the flow each year depending on what days he works.  This's Thanksgiving day.  Don't forget to add firefighters, police officers, ER workers and many many others to your thankful list this year!  They are at work when no one else wants to be. :)  It's new for me because I'm big on traditions but I'm starting to embrace the change and the different possibilities for each year. 

I know it's a little late...but if any of you need some quick Thanksgiving "stuff" for the next couple days...feel free to grab!  If not, tuck it away for next year!

We made scrapbook paper turkeys today and wrote about what we were thankful for.  We were interruped a million times for random things when we got ready to write and we were kinda they totally surprised me with their sweet, thoughtful writings!

"thankful for my dog because my dog is happy to see me"
So true!

"thankful for my mom because she loves me and thankful for my dog because he "cudls" me"

"thankful for my school because I'm in my favorite class...thankful for my mom because "everything."
Well Said.

"thankful for my dogs because they are part of my family and thankful for my teacher because she is nice."
She may get exra credit. ;)
If you need a Thanksgiving writing template, you can grab this one for free in my TPT shop.
If you're interested in making scrapbook paper turkeys...I just cut out squares of fall themed scrapbook paper and used a simple turkey template and we traced and assembled...and had a blast doing it! 

Have you heard about the TPT sale?? All of my products will be 20% off as well as many of my FAVORITE sellers.  TPT is throwing in an extra 10% off...awesome time to stock up!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Bless you!

Monday, November 12, 2012


I hope your November has been full of joy so far! I love reading everybody's blog posts and posts on facebook about everything they are thankful for.  I wish we could remember to reflect on how blessed we are all year long!  My list is way too long to type. It is ridiculously long.  I am a blessed girl. 
These guys are the top two things on my list!

Another thing that I am VERY thankful for is YOU! I love all my friends who stop by my blog to see what's going on in my little first grade corner of the world.
As a little thank you...I'd like to share a free math game I hope your kiddos can enjoy before Thanksgiving break.
We have been working on adding 0,1, and 2.  This is an easy game called "Give me Two More" to reinforce "adding on" 2 more.
You just need game boards, dice, and something to cover the numbers.
Enjoy! Click on the picture to download your copy.
Happy teaching to you! XO
THANK YOU for stopping by.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Book: A FUN seasonal writing activity

Happy November!
I follow the fabulous Erica Bohrer on facebook and I saw this pop up today and thought it was the most fantastic idea...I wanted to share it with you in case you hadn't seen it. 
Erica lives in New York and created this packet both to answer students' questions and inform. She is donating the proceeds from this pack to help the victims in her hometown of Lindenhurst.
 I grabbed it from her TPT store and it is a fantastic resource.  I am saving it for a weather unit this spring.  If you haven't checked it on the picture below!
If you haven't already checked out her's a fantastic teacher resource...but right now she also has some inspiring pictures of her hometown after the storm.  It's worth looking at for a little bit of hope! 
Erica inspired me! I was getting ready to post a new Thanksgiving mini-pack to my TPT store tonight and I decided it would be a great opportunity to do the same. 
I wish I had something bigger, but this is all I had ready.  It is only $2 in my TPT store, but the proceeds will go towards the Hurricane Sandy relief fun via a donation to the Red Cross.
I know I sure am THANKFUL to be in my warm home with my favorite boys...and I am praying hard that my friends up north have some safety, warmth, and peace very soon, too.
If you are looking for a QUICK, FUN writing activity to do with your kids one of these days leading up to Thanksgiving...check out my Thanksgiving Recipe Book writing activity.
Students select a dish that they *think* they know how to make and write a recipe for it. 
Y'all don't even know how funny these turn out.
Here is a little example from our cookbook from last year:
Macaroni and Cheese
-two boxes of noodles
-one slice of cheese
-1 cup of salt
-1 spoonful of sugar
-3 pieces of garlic
-8 sticks of butter
Put the noodles in the water and turn it on real hot. Put the cheese on it and stir it up.  Pour in the salt and sugar and garlic.  Put the butter on.  Put it in the oven for 3 hours on 700 degrees.
Too darn cute. 
This "cookbook"  also makes an awesome gift for parents and office staff at your school 
(and a fabulous conversation piece at your Thanksgiving table)!
Directions, templates, covers for the class cookbook (color and black & white) are included.
Happy teaching to you!