Assessment Woes

We're fast approaching the end of our 3rd quarter and I am bracing myself for testing all.week.long. Although we use a scripted reading curriculum that is completely differentiated and assesses each student as they complete each "unit," we have to give a reading test on top of math, science and social studies tests. Yes, you read that correctly. Science and social studies. That is on top of the biweekly assessments we have to give for all of those subjects. Also, we score writing on the Developmental Writing Continuum monthly (this I agree with!). Does anyone else have to assess kiddos in every subject? How do you manage it? It is so.much.paperwork. I feel awful about subjecting my kiddos to hours upon hours of do I deal?

In other news, tomorrow is Leap Day and Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a sale! While my freebies on TPT totally outnumber what I have for sale, stop by my shop to check out my goodies for sale! Everything will be 20% off plus an additional 10% if you use the code L2P9Y. Click any of the links below to take you to my goodies on sale :)

You can get my DIYSpace Kid Spacers for $.80

or my Monster Munch Subtraction Game (also for $.80)

or if it is a Monster Math Pack you can get this over 80 page pack for $3.20! It includes station or center activities for ten frame fun, addition, subtraction, time to the hour and half hour, tallies, AND the Monster Munch Subtraction is included! 

Happy Leap Day shopping!

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Erin from
just began her own blog designing site and yours truly was one of the first to sign up for a new blog design! After what seemed like 100 emails back and forth because I changed my mind a million few times, she created the new design you see! What do you think? I absolutely love it! If you're in the market for a new blog design, check her design blog out at creating and designing

Back to the Oscars!

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Leprechaun's Gold Freebie!

I promised a freebie a few days ago and I'm staying true to my word! I created this sight word game that is similar to Oh No! or Bang! Students read as many words as they can until they find the Leprechaun's Gold.   You can download it for f-r-e-e at my TPT store
 [a set for Pre-Primer]
[ a set for Primer]

Hope you're having a fab weekend!


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Monster Munch Subtraction

I introduced subtraction to my kiddos this week and we're starting to get the hang of it. While working in small groups yesterday, I had an aha moment! (Any other Oprah lovers out there?) We were using simple math work mats to model subtraction problems when I noticed my kiddos had trouble distinguishing from the cubes that they had subtracted and cubes that were the difference. We practiced and practiced and practiced some more and some of my sweet things were still confused. The light bulb went on and I thought about giving them a plastic cup to put the cubes that they "took away" in. This way, they were out of sight and they were no longer confused when counting how many they had left. My kiddos became much more successful when they each had a cup to model subtraction.

That little on-a-whim idea turned into a new Monster Munch Subtraction game. We played it today and my kiddos had a ball! The students draw a card, look at the first number (minuend) and place that many cubes on the plate. Then, students look at the second number (subtrahend) and "feed" the monster that many cubes. They count the cubes left on the plate to find the difference! I used a plastic cup as the monster's "mouth" and students kept the cubes in a sandwich bag the monster's snack bag. I will be using it in small group for the next week or so then will move it to a work station after. I have included an I Can chart and a recording sheet if you choose to use them. You can grab it at my TPT store and I'm also adding it to my Monster Math Pack!

[Our subtraction anchor chart]

[Just put a plastic cup over the monster's mouth and you're ready to play!]

TGIF friends!


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Sink and Float Experiment

We just finished learning about objects that sink and float. Our culminating activity required our kiddos to make a boat at home and we experimented with them in class today. I was surprised at the creativity and ingenuity of our little scientists' boats! Check them out :)

Headed to a Children's Defense Fund conference tomorrow. Couldn't be more excited to hit the big city...Target and Chick Fil A here I come! 


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DIY Space Kid Spacer

First and foremost, the Oreo truffles were quite the hit today at our PD! It made listening to me drone on and on about Common Core a lot less painful. (I hope!)

I got everything ready to post all the materials needed to make the DIY Space Kid Spacers... And then I read the TOU for the clipart designer. I cannot use the graphics in a freebie! So, I put it in my TPT store for $1. Think of it like an awesome find from the Dollar Spot. I'm a big fan of the freebies that lovely teachers post and I hope you like the ones I have put up too, but this time I just can't do it. I wouldn't want the clipart police to come after me. I have a squeaky clean record and I'd like to keep it that way. I promise a freebie :)

I hope you have the chance to make these for your kiddos! My kiddos went ba-na-nas today when I introduced them. Thank goodness they were excited because they sure do need the little space kids to help them with spacing.

Click the image to go to my TPT store. 

...Off to watch Smash!


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Pinterest Obsessed and DIY Space Man Spacer

Anyone else completely and totally obsessed with pinterest? I have been on a cooking and baking spree today...I made these

and these

and these

and while I was pinning my heart out, I came across this little goodie!

Well, I'm a perfectionist with a capital P so I wasn't too keen on the idea of hand writing and drawing on the popsicle sticks. (Although yours turned out great, Kristin!) I found some perfect clip art with diverse little astronaut kiddos and stuck them on the end of a jumbo craft stick. I then printed some labels and voila! 

I'll post all the goodies to make these yourself when I get home from work tomorrow...not at all excited about being the only teacher in America that has to be at work! To top it off, kiddos have a minimum day and I have to lead a professional development session on the Common Core Math Standards. I plan to bring all my baked goodies so at the very least the other teachers can say my treats were delicious! 

Enjoy your day of sleeping in and PJs all day!


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Monster Math Pack and Valentine's Day Freebie!

I just finished my Monster Math Pack and am so excited to share it with you! It is over 55 pages of engaging math fun. I included I Can Charts and Student Recording Sheets for each activity except the I Have...Who Has? game. My kiddos have been doing the activities in my class and they just l-o-v-e it! I didn't intend for it to include so much but I got a bit carried away :) Since it is Valentine's Day weekend and I love all my bloggy friends, I am going to give away the Monster Math Pack to the first 5 people to comment on this post. Be sure to leave me your email address. Click the image below to visit my TPT store!

Since love is in the air I thought I'd share a Valentine's Day Freebie! My kiddos are obsessed with any type of Roll, Count, Cover game so I made one for Valentine's Day. We aren't making number sentences just yet but I've included a recording sheet if your kiddos are already doing that. Click the image below to download the freebie!

Clipart is by The Pond

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


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DIY Magnetic Whiteboard

I have one of these fabulous magnetic whiteboards from Lakeshore in my class.
I use it throughout the day with my small groups and especially during phonics. I received one as a gift but wasn't about to outfit my class with $8.95 whiteboards. I have had a couple rolls of Con-Tact Memo Board and didn't know what to do with it...until today! I bought some 13 x 9 inch inch cookie sheets from Dollar Tree for (you guessed it!) $1 and turned them into magnetic whiteboards. I cut the Memo Board to size (12 x 8 inches) and slapped it right on the cookie sheets.  Now my kiddos will each have their own magnetic whiteboard to use during small group. 

The best part? I made each whiteboard for $1.07 because a sweet friend gave me a bunch of Memo Board rolls. Even if you bought a roll from Amazon for $6.87, it would make 10 whiteboards and the cost would still be less than $2 per whiteboard. Can't beat that!

I'll admit, I'm not the perfect craftinista so my magnetic whiteboards have a few bubbles under the Con-Tact paper...but I'm sure my little kiddos won't mind! Any tips on getting rid of those annoying bubbles? 


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Vocabulary Parade...and Tagged!

Happy Groundhog Day! If I get 6 more weeks of the 70 degree weather we had today, I'll take it! I'd love to share the cute little craftivity my kiddos did for Groundhog Day but I was busy trying to come up with outfits for the Vocabulary Parade. This parade is based on the book Miss Alaineus: A Vocabuary Disaster by Debra Frasier. Our kiddos are supposed to create costumes depicting a vocabulary word and parade around the school.
We found out on Tuesday that we would be having the parade this Friday afternoon. Yes, you read that right...3 days notice! The best part of it all, the parade falls during my planning time. I've got 20 little kiddos to outfit and I am stuck. Do you have any ideas? I'd love to hear what you've got! :) 

Before I forget...I've been tagged by Anita at

Mrs. Bremer's Kindergarten

and thought I'd play along (but I'm picking and choosing the rules I follow, don't tell!) 
I'll let the answers to these questions serve as your 12 fun facts! 

1. What do you do on your summer vacation? I get teach my incoming kiddos! 
2. What is your favourite restaurant? Any Thai restaurant...or Chick Fil A! 
3. What would your job be if you were not a teacher? I've never thought of anything else, but I suppose I'd be a child psychologist.
4. What is the worst part of being a teacher? I do not love the endless amount of unnecessary paperwork.                                      
5. What is the best part of being a teacher? My kiddos and their families
6. What do you do to unwind after a day at school? I open a cold can of Diet Dr. Pepper and play with my puppies :) 
7. Where is your favourite place to shop? This girl loves Loft! 
8. What do you drive? I drive a Ford Mustang...not my first choice but I had it in college and I don't have a car payment! 
9. Who is your Hollywood crush? Oh boy, do I love Justin Timberlake!
10. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? I would love to be sailing on a Mediterranean cruise.
11. What is one of your favorite books? The Last Lecture by Randy touching and inspirational. 
12. What is your favourite movie? I have always loved Matilda...I wanted to grow up and become Miss Honey. 

I'm pretty sure every blog on the block has been tagged already! 

Happy Friday Eve!


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