14 November 2015

Popping Place Value Pine Cones ~ A Base-Ten Math Center

I PoPPed into my local dollar store today & (Yipeeeeee!!!) I found these adorable pine cone ornaments!!! Score!!!

So I PoPPed off the hangers & VIOLA! Instant counters! The base-ten rods immediately came to mind. I whipped up a rod strip to lay the cones on in order to make counting organized & simple. Then, devised the number sentence mat for recording. 

I laminated the mats so that they can be dry-erased in a math center for reusing.

You can download the base-ten counting strip & recording sheet/mat here.

25 September 2015

An Apple A Day ~ A Little Science Freebie

Just a quick upload for today as I promised my IG friends this file.  Here's the Apple Test sheet for science that we performed this week. The kids LOVED this fun experiment! I'll add pics & more information this coming weekend. But, I wanted to be sure to get you this! :)

*This upload is now updated & free for now
It will soon be included with my Kinder Science Notebook.

28 August 2015

How Is Our 'Bear'~Havior?

A question frequently asked by parents throughout the school year is, "So, how is my child's behavior?"

Classroom management is especially important at the beginning of the school year. It sets the precedent for the rest of the year and the tempo of attitude in your classroom. I've found that my "How's My 'Bear~Havior?" system to be very engaging, good habit forming and most of all positively reinforcing for my little cutie~pies' behavior. They feel safe in our classroom environment and know exactly what is expected of them in our daily routine.

I have a whole "bear" theme in my classroom which my kiddos LOVE! I also love the ease of using a clipchart!

The children's names can be quickly moved "up" the chart and it creates a great visual to reinforce those good habits and behaviors which we love to see!

This system is pretty simple and this is how it works:

During the first week of school when rules and expectations are modeled, I introduce my "How Is Our 'Bear'~Havior?" Clipchart to the class.

Each day they earn the opportunity to move their "Bear" Clip up to the next color on the chart based on their behavior (for example when they make good choices, perform their responsibilities well, follow instructions, being good listeners, stay on task and most importantly when they follow the class rules).

The beginning color on the chart is green. They are called "Climbing Bears". Every student is a "Climbing Bear" and strives to continue "up" the chart as they progress. When they reach the top of the chart, they've earned "The Golden Bear" award for that week.

Keeping in tune with my commitment toward a positively reinforcing behavior management system, each color on the chart sends an encouraging message to the students! 

At the end of each day, each student receives a 'Teddy Bear' token whose clip was moved up and can earn up to four tokens each week. 

I punched the tokens out using a 2 1/2" circular scrapbook puncher. It was quick and easy!

With their four tokens they can then exchange them into "Bear" Bucks. (I couldn't resist throwing in a little monetary exchange to reinforce their money math skills :) 

My kiddos LOVE to collect them and place them into their "Reward Stash"! 

They can then use their 'Bear' Bucks to earn reward coupons or select a prize in the class treasure chest where specific reward items or coupons are worth from one 'Bear' Buck on up. 

 They are always really excited to save their 'Bear' Bucks and trade them in for coupon rewards that they themselves have worked hard to earn. It's wonderful to see the look of pride in their expressions when they earn each 'Teddy Bear' token or 'Bear' Buck and receive their reward coupons or treasure!

*For any kiddos whose 'Bear' Clip remains on the first green color, I send home a short note to their parents encouraging them to discuss the importance of making good choices at school and to remind them to keep trying. I believe in all they can achieve and remind them that they "Can Do It!"

It's so important to ensure that these little kiddos are given every opportunity to receive positive reinforcement when they perform their responsibilities well, follow instructions, being good listeners, stay on task and most importantly when they follow the class rules. 

I disagree with having behavior charts that can potentially demoralize a child's self esteem and shut down their initiative to perform their very best.  So rather than "dinging" them for poor behavior choices, I'm committed to reinforcing GOOD behavior choices in my behavior management system.

As with any behavior management system implemented in your classroom, it must be clear to your students and consistent in order for it to be most effective. 

If you would like to grab my "Bear"~Havior System and use it in your classroom, 

Through encouraging words & positive reinforcement, you'll definitely find #happyclassrooms . :)

17 August 2015

Super Summer Software Uploaded AKA Summer Reads Read

As we approach the new school year, I like to reflect and apply as many methods of self improvement towards my work. One of the best resources for continuing my learning as an educator, is through reading and anytime is a great time but for me the SUuMmER TiMe is the BEST time to do it!  

There are several great books available such as
"Move Your Bus" by Ron Clark and "Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me" by Kim Bearden are a couple of my top favorites as these two educators are well known for their tremendous hearts in teaching children and influence as amazing teachers.  

In addition to those RCA favorites, the following books I also highly recommend: "1-2-3 Magic For Teachers" by Thomas W. Phelan & Sarah Jane Schonour: This book not only helps to guide teachers in their behavior management plan for their classrooms, but it also comes in a "parent" version for families too. There are many great examples and questions answered within the pages which makes it a most helpful tool.

Another amazing author and educator who's bark is right up my alley, is David Burgess with his book "Teach Like A Pirate". When I read his words on student engagement and creativity, I felt as though he was looking into my past through a crystal ball and describing me and my strikingly similar passion for lesson crafting and teaching.

These are just a few wonderfully great "reads" which I thoroughly enjoyed "uploading to my hard drive" (oh yes, reading!)  during my summer break. They have definitely enhanced the way I teach and compliment what I love to do. I'm always looking for juicy new tid-bits to change up my game plan and make learning even more engaging for my kiddos.

10 August 2015

Tweaking And Tweaking The Bug Button

Just to update you on (what is HOPEFULLY) my new "Bug" Button.

I began by designing my own clipart. Each graphic is a singular piece to the big puzzle. After the design sketch, I imported my artwork and applied it to the circular design I had created in Powerpoint.

Once this was done, I chose to use the Love&Laughter font along with the GiveMeSomeSugar font I found on dafont.com. I added some text effects such as shadows and glows then combined them with my clipart and VIOLA!!!

I would love your feedback as it aids me in making improvements and enhancements. Please comment below & provide me with your thoughts. 

Your support is greatly appreciated and meaningful to me!

Thank you!!!

03 August 2015

Trying On A New Look

I thought I would post these up to get a sense of which button works better. I am simply undecided. 

I could use some fresh eyes. Please pick your favorite button and comment below. I would be tremendously grateful for any suggestions.

Button A

Button B

29 July 2015

Stretching Out Our Spelling Words

My kiddos love to stretch out their words!

Using our Stretchy Snake Spelling Mats and matching Dolch Pre- & Primer Sight Word Cards, we are spelling in a fun way!

This set can be used in language arts centers or individually. My students LOVED using the spelling mats which can be differentiated with the words in their growing vocabulary.  The spelling mats can be combined with letter tiles, colorful dry erase or scento markers. They were so engaged in doing this, my little spellers couldn't get enough!

If you would like these for your classroom, you can,
click here

They're free for today only!

My kinders LOVE them! 
I hope you can use them too!

27 July 2015

10 Reasons Teachers Should Connect Through Social Media

We live in an age where technology is all around us. Yes, it can be intimidating. Yes, it can be overwhelming. I've been there. But, I would LOVE to encourage you not to give up. 

Here are 10 reasons why teachers should connect through venues such as Instagram, Twitter, Periscope or Facebook:

1. A Plethora of Resources! Through app feeds & networks there is so much information filtering through with unlimited imaginative ideas & most likely the latest, cutting edge technological tidbits! This is a HUGE timesaver. Hashtags (such as #edchat#elemchat#tptchat, #2getherwearebetter) let you focus on what you need to find and when! Through the Twitter stream, Periscope, Facebook & Instagram
I’ve found apps and other tech tools that were tested and recommended by other teachers!

2. Opportunities! From Group-ons to giveaways to practically free offers and invitations to visit places like Space Camps and opportunities to meet other teachers at conferences like #tptVegas are because of social media's reach through venues like Twitter!

3. You Make Your Schedule: You can connect when you fit it in your schedule. You check in when you have time. It could be in between classes or even while you're in line at the grocery store. 

4. Global Learning! No matter what part of the world you live in, when networking your common goal is helping each other find what each other needs. Connections are powerful resources!


5. FREEBIES! In this day and age when the economy is uncertain, most of these awesome apps are offered for free. In addition, I've found so many free offerings for teachers, I'm so giddy with the excitement of it!

6. New Friends! When you’re connected, there are so many endless possibilities! The relationships you build are tremendous and helpful.

7. Great Support! Taking a couple of minutes to connect might lead you to a new way of teaching that will improve learning in your classroom.

8. Reflection! When you connect, you automatically reflect in a powerful way. Others' ideas improve your perspectives. 

9. 24/7 Learning! The door to learning is always open & people you’ve never met in person are willing to support & help you.  The educators on Twitter & other networks share a common passion for learning and it’s very empowering.

10. Model it & Practice it: Our students need to understand how to be connected in a global society. We need to be an example of the appropriate way to go about it. We need to model it in our classrooms every single day.  Opportunities to Skype, Twitter and/or connect with "pen-pals" are easily planned, produced and are such a positive experience for you and your kids.

In John Maxwell’s book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, he states, “Connecting increases your influence in every situation.” This cannot be more true! Our ability to connect is directly related to our ability to influence others.
Get connected.  The only regret you’ll have is that you didn’t get started sooner!

22 July 2015

Beary In~Sight~Full Words

I am super excited about this blog post!!! 

Although it's still summer vacation time for me and my family, we've been super busy with traveling, visiting family, attending summer camps, reorganizing my classroom and finding time to relax and wiggle our toes out by the swimming pool. 

So in the wee hours of these (still so busy) summer days, I've squeezed in time to create.


I've had an adorable teddy bear theme in the morning message/circle time activities for my class and wanted to carry on these cuddly cubs into my sight word routine. So I made these cute teddy bear cards. They include Fry's First 100 Sight Words which can be neatly housed inside of a set of fun little photo albums I found at Michael's Craft Store.

Along with the sight word mini albums, I created the accompanying Sticker Books. My students COULD NOT get enough of them this past school year! I would say it's quite the sticker addiction. I admit it is all my doing, I know! After all, I do have a "slight" sticker addiction myself!!! 

In addition to the Mini Album and Sticker Book, I also created Sentence Builders. These sentence builders can be a challenge at first, but my kiddos were similarly addicted to these as well and were begging for more. I could not believe it! Once they accomplished the first two, they just couldn't wait to complete more of them. The Sentence Builders can be used in a language arts center or separately depending upon your needs.

This kit is a growing bundle at my Tpt store. I plan on adding more sight word activities/centers to it in the weeks ahead. 

As much as my children have loved this sight word collection, I hope this set can be a "beary" fun part of your language arts routine too!

21 July 2015

A Kinder Blog Kickoff!

What an exciting feeling to be part of something big! Our new Kinder Tribe is going LIVE now! And we're all so thrilled to contribute to it's development and culmination! 

It literally has taken a small village (an AMAZING group of kindergarten teachers) to create the Kinder Tribe including one of our very best new entrepreneurs, A Pinch Of Kinder.  My hats off to Yukari for her devoted hard work! 

We have already hosted our first linky party and launched our first giveaway loaded with a plethora of wonderful prizes. There are sure to be more in store as we forge ahead. We've also collaborated in the blog's design and its upcoming offerings. I have to say, all who are involved at Kinder Tribe make a wonderfully, dynamic great team! 

 Each of our authors is filled with so much talent and ideas. So there are definitely tons of great things coming your way like Feature Friday's and What Worked Wednesdays.

As a contributor at Kinder Tribe, we are sharing a few "tid-bits" about each of ourselves and here is my Bit-About-Me:

I'm so grateful for so many new friends and the ability to collaborate on ideas that mean so much to me; especially to my little kinders and the job that I love!  

13 July 2015

Apples To Apples ~ Doodle Clipart Fun

As the summer skirts on by, my teacher instincts are gradually beginning to slide into prep mode. I love to draw and incorporate that artwork in my classroom as much as possible. 

In preparing for the Back~To-~School season that's just about a month away now, one of the biggest themes to work with and use are apples. 

Yes, I must admit, I am one of those teachers who absolutely loves apples mixed into the curriculum where ever and whenever possible! 

 So as I was doodling, one of the bits and bops that I created was a cute little apple clipart.

If you are interested in downloading this Sweet Little Apple clipart, 

Click to Download Here!

Hope you enjoy this sweet little offering! 

12 July 2015

Charity Wings Fly In California

If you're ever in San Diego, California looking for a teacher bargain, there's a humble little country~style outpost called Charity Wings. I'm always looking for good teacher deals & happened upon this precious little craft store.

Like a "Raft" supply niche, Charity Wings collect donations from companies & sells them for practically pennies. They sell antique furniture along with craft & painting classes filled with fun projects for both kids & adults to create. 

Check out my amazing little finds!!! I was lucky to fill one bag with as much as I could squeeze into it for just $20 !!!!

This is Just HALF of the treasure I jammed into my shopping bag!!! I found oodles of letter stamps, number tiles, buttons, ribbons, pennants & more!! SCORE!!!

So if you're ever in southern Cali, drop by & you could be walking away with your hands full & a very happy camper. 

You can find Charity Wings Art Center at:

Enjoying the summer! Hope you are too! :)