My Top Three

I'm having so much fun
checking out everyone's Top 3 posts
over at Fern's blog! Its like getting
a highlight reel of teaching blogs for the past

Here are my top 3 viewed posts of the year...
Dec. 6, 2011.........................2,398 pageviews

July 18, 2011............................498 pageviews

July 15, 2011.............................422 pageviews



Merry Christmas!!!

I wanted to say thank you 
for everyone's sweet comments and
support for my new TpT store
and my first unit,

I hope you all are enjoying your winter break,
cause I know I am!
It's so nice to get a break from the normal routine
and sleep in, be lazy, and get a chance to catch up
with friends and family. :)

I've also been using a little of my free time to
work on a new math unit,
so here's a little preview...

I'm hoping to get this unit completed
during winter break and upload
it to my store before I head back to school.
Here's a little Merry Christmas from
my family to yours!



An award and a freebie!

Erica over at The Honey Bunch
awarded me the Liebster award last
week! You should check out her
blog because she has some GREAT ideas:)
Thanks Erica!

I've been soooo busy trying to wrap
up everything at school and also
trying to keep up with getting ready for
Christmas, that I'm just now getting
a chance to pass along the award.

So here are a few of my picks for the Liebster....

1. Kelley over at Buggy for Second Grade is my
new bloggy friend! She also lives in Kansas and actually
attended the elementary school I work at for a little while
when she was young. Crazy, right?!?!
Anyhoo, she has some awesome ideas and is also
hosting a giveaway right now so you need to go
and check it out!

Buggy for 2nd Grade

2. I'm also loving Carly over at First Grade Fabulousity!
She is so darn cute and I LOVE her weather freebies
she has in her TpT store. Go show her some love
and follow her because she has some
FABULOUS ideas:)


3. So this next nominee is not an elementary teacher, but
a high school science teacher. Mr. Champ {a.k.a. science nerd}
has a great blog you should share with any h.s. science
teachers you know. I love this heavy lifting rocket lab
he did with his students!
Did I mention that Mr. Champ is also my brother-in-law?!?

{Liebster Award is given to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are:
1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers!!}

Now onto to a freebie for you :)
We made these fabulous gingerbread houses
our last day before break and the kiddos
had tons of fun.
I did too!

I had several parents come in to help
and it was the perfect activity because
the kids worked so hard on their houses
and the day just flew by.
Instead of painfully dragging on like we all know
those last few days before a break can!

I created this graphing activity that the kids worked
on in the afternoon to graph the candy {just the candy}
that they used on their house.

It was perfect because we are just finishing up graphing
in our math series, so they were familiar with
how to make a bar graph and they
could complete it independently.
Click on the pic to download a copy!

This is my first day of Winter Break, hallelujah!
If you aren't on break yet, I'm saying a prayer for you right now:)



Regrouping Unit!!!

Why do I always get sick on the weekends?!?!
I'm just now coming out of my
room where I've been quarantined
for the past 24 hours with strep...yuck.

I'm finally feeling alive again and
I couldn't wait to share with you
my regrouping unit!
I love teaching regrouping with
these activities and games
 and my students LOVE it too.
I know. 
Hard to believe kids would love regrouping but they do!
Trust me. ;)
Math is one of my passions because
you can turn almost anything into a game and
the kids are having so much fun,
practicing skills over and over again that
they don't even realize it!
Here's a little preview of my unit...

If you remember this post about The Trading Game,
you'll be happy to know that I've included a template for
the gameboard in this unit!

If you'd like to purchase this unit from my new
Teachers Pay Teachers store you can click on any of
the pics above, the Teachers Pay Teachers button on the sidebar,
or here!

I'll be giving this unit away for FREE to the first two
people who leave a comment and tell me what is your
favorite subject to teach!
{don't forget to include your email}

Hope you all have had a MUCH better weekend
than me!
Hopefully, I've had my fair share of sickness for a while.  :)



4 Types of Sentences flip book...and snow!

My students were giddy this morning when
everyone woke up to the first snow of the
season here in Kansas!
It wasn't much, but enough
to get everyone excited.

So when we did this little activity
about the 4 types of sentences today,
(declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, & imperative)
we wrote our 4 sentences about snow!

4 Types of Sentences flip book!

I introduced the 4 types and then the
students put the flip book together.
Under each flap they wrote that type of

One of my teaching partners also suggested
stapling 2 sheets of the lined paper underneath
and using one to describe the type of sentence and
the other for the example!

Click on the picture below to download
a free copy...

I've been working like crazy putting
together a unit all about regrouping!
Full of strategies, games, anchor charts
and lots more!
I'm going to start selling some of my units on
either Teachers Pay Teachers or Teacher's Notebook
so I'm hoping to get that set up this week...fingers crossed!
I love teaching regrouping with the activities and games
I've included in the unit and I can't wait to share it with
you all so check back in soon!!!

I will still be sharing FREE printables on my blog
so no worries. :)

Hope you are having a fantastic week!



what i'm thankful for.

I'm joining in this linky party because
I've LOVED reading everyone else's responses.
It's so fun to get to know other bloggers
on more of a personal level.

Sooo....a little about what I'm thankful for
this year:

1.  What are you thankful for in your classroom?
I'm so thankful for ALL of the wonderful teachers I've had the 
privilege of working with during my first 6 years of teaching. 
I mean, I'm definitely thankful for my
students, but I don't think I'd be able to do what I do and get
through those seriously LONG Friday no-plan days without
my teaching partners. 
So, I'm most thankful for Kristen, Barb,
Julie, Karen, Jane, Meredith, Cory, Teresa, Angel, Andrea, & Brandi. :)

2. What person are you most thankful for?
My family:)

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?
I'm trying to remember the first teaching blog I
stumbled onto this summer! 
The blogs that have
given me the most inspiration so far have been The First Grade Parade,
Thank you ladies!!!

4. What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for?
Pinterest! Because I seriously use that more than google:)

5. What are you most thankful for?
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give
you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11



butterfly life cycle

You might have seen this great idea
from Somewhat Simple floating around Pinterest...

We read, Butterfly House, as part of our
reading series and it's a great story
to introduce students to the life cycle
of butterflies!

It's such a cute story that fits very well into
the unit theme of kindness.

Anyway, my coworkers and I wanted to 
do this activity, but here in Kansas,
all the leaves are crunchy and brown
and we'd make a crusty mess trying
to glue them down.

So, I decided to make a template to glue
on the paper plate that the kids could color.
Then we glued the pasta on top of each picture. 
You can click on the picture to download the template:)

I still like Somewhat Simple's best with the real
leaves and twig, but since we are forced expected to
read this story in the fall,
ours will have to do!


I think they turned out cute!



Number Forms


Sorry to be a blog slacker.

You can thank grade card season and conferences.

Anyhoo, glad to be back, and I have a few things to
share in the next few weeks so I'll try and stay consistent.

I LOVE candy corn.
A lot.

When I saw this idea on pinterest, from Katie over and Katie Lately,
I knew I wanted to do it with my 2nd graders.

I made a template and wanted to share
it with you all. Click the button below the pic
to download a free copy!
Here's a lousy pic I took with my phone of our candy corn numbers
hanging in our room.

Don't think you can't do candy corn activities
in November,
because it's the candy that keeps on giving {in pounds}
all Fall long!

I've also been reading aloud, The Candy Corn Contest,
by Patricia Reilly Giff,
and we are loving it!
I just assumed it had a Halloween theme but the
story actually takes place in the weeks leading
up to Thanksgiving.

I can't get over all the fabulous ideas floating all
over the teaching blogisphere for Thanksgiving!
I'm overwhelmed and need to pick a few ideas
I think I can do instead of dreaming of doing everything:)

Have a fabulous weekend!



Welcome Fall!

I'm loving the weather we are
having here in Kansas!
Lows in 50's and highs in upper 70's,
low 80's.
Can't really get much better than that!
Anyways, I'm home for most of the
week because my little one
caught hand, foot, and mouth.
She can't go back to daycare until next week.
Here goes the rest of my sick days!

She's doing ok and actually eating
and drinking some stuff.
Other times she spits out her
food and starts to cry because it hurts, poor baby:(

I'm loving this extra time with her
though and for the most part she is
in good spirits so we are having fun.
Makes me miss summer when I was
home all the time and I can't
help but wish sometimes I was a stay-at-home mommy:)

Ok, enough rambling, I wanted to share a game
with you all so here we go....

My students need lots of extra practice
with rounding so I came up with this game.
Click on any of the pictures above to download
a copy.

I think I might also make a Halloween
version, so if I actually do that
I'll share that too!



Lightbulb Moment!

Today I had a little glimpse as to what
my reading block could be like when this Daily 5
thing is in full swing.
All I can say is I. Loved. It.

The whole process of introducing the Daily 5
has taken longer than I thought.
However, we have 3 of the 5 going
pretty strong so far and I'm proud of that.
So, this week, I thought I would take a break
from introducing the next part,
{for me that is word work}
and let the kids rotate through and
see how everything will sort of play out.

I actually had 4 or 5 reading conferences today
with some of the neediest kiddos.
It was SO amazing!
We talked about what their goals would be
from the CAFE menu and I felt like
I connected with them and understood
a little more about where they are as readers.
I feel like this additional attention from me is definitely needed
along with the intervention groups with the reading specialists.
I could see in their eyes that they knew I cared
and truly wanted to help them become better readers:)

This little snapshot of what things could be like
all the time once the Daily 5 is up and running
was just the little boost of confidence I needed
to keep going!

So, next week I'm tackling Word Work.
I'm trying to get set up and I'm finding ALL sorts
 of great ideas online. It makes it hard to keep
it all organized and figure out exactly how I want it to be
but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I'm so encouraged when I read about other
newbies to Daily 5 and even old pros,
so let me know how its going for you!

Happy {almost} Thursday!



lesson planner

Thought I would share my new Erin Condren
lesson planner!
Love this thing because its so colorful and cheery
and make writing plans that
much more fun:)
{I'm a sucker for anything colorful/cute!}

I found a great deal on this through a post
Cara had a while back.
They are normally $50, which is kinda steep
if you ask me.
There was an offer through a deal's site, kinda
like Groupon, for half off.
So I snagged the teacher lesson planner and a few
other goodies!
I was seriously contemplating using the deals
I bought for some Christmas gifts too
but ended up just splurging all on myself:)

I love the Life Planner too.
During my free time, I try to get crafty and
make little personalized things.
I write down when orders are due in this
and just normal everyday stuff.

I also had to splurge on this
sticker for my ipad cover.
This summer we sold our mac
notebook and my NOOK reader.
We bought ipads in place of those
and we LOVE them!
These are normally $20 but I got
them through the deal for $12.
They actually send you 2 stickers,
in case the first one you use gets
worn looking. Very cool!

Hope you all ENJOY your weekend and 
get to RELAX!