So I didn't win Power Ball...

I had my ticket (or ten) and was sure that I was going to wake up a multi-millionaire. I even drove 35 miles across state lines to get said tickets..and no such luck! I still had something to look forward to today because....

Chillin' at the Overhead Station
our elf made his debut! I channeled my inner thespian and pulled out all the stops to make it a magical morning for my little scholars. After reading the book, we voted on our name for the little fellow. I pulled 5 popsicle sticks and each of them suggested a name. I wrote the names on chart paper and each kiddo voted on their favorite. I suppose I should explain the the first suggestion was Tinker Bell and I explained to the sweetie that our elf was a boy so she shouted, "Well, Tinker Boy then!" Not sure where King came from. Obviously Diego and Boots are from Dora. And Cone? Well, my only guess is we've been learning about solid shapes. I may or may not have skewed the votes. An elf named Cone, really?! :) 

Moving on...I have been terrible at snapping pictures of centers/stations but I managed to get a few today! 

My assistant worked with our little scholars on segmenting CVC words. We start by just segmenting the sounds and then eventually graduate to moving the chips and writing the letter that makes the sound. Just like my Road to Reading: Phoneme Segmentation Fluency packet, we color-code the sounds. Green for the first sound, yellow for the medial, and red for the final sound. 

One of our literacy centers is working with cookie sheets. I whipped this little goodie up and my kiddos just loved it! There's something magical about magnetic letters I think. Notice the green border? Color-coded because students have to listen for the first sound and find that letter. The medial sound mats have a yellow border and the final sound have a red border. Make sense? Some of my kiddos are still working with identifying beginning sounds while others can decode the word after finding the letter that makes the beginning sound. 

I've been busy printing, laminating and cutting until my fingers bleed but I am just in LOVE with Caitlin Clabby's Yummy Batch of Literacy and Math Centers.

I'm read to roll them out on Monday but this week we've been practicing making sets using this little activity
Just some Christmas trees with a number in the star and colorful pom poms. 

Now off to work on next week's lesson favorite Thursday night activity! :) 

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Spreading Holiday Cheer [Christmas Giveaway!]

Hi there, friends! I just got back from Nashville and now the unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping, more unpacking, more laundry begins.

I'm planning the next 3 weeks of school (hallelujah for another break!) and am getting giddy thinking about all of the things in store for my little scholars. We'll start off watching Santa's personal message to my class. You can see it [here]. Then we'll have an Elf visitor from the North Pole hang in our classroom to make sure we are all making smart choices (and I stay sane). To complement the book and the daily shenanigans, I purchased Kreative in Kinder's Elf on a Shelf packet. I've got everything printed and ready to go...including these too cute letters from the elf himself! You can click the picture to check it out :)

We'll be introducing addition in the coming weeks so I created this festive addition center. We'll start by combining sets and recording the total and then we'll move to writing equations and using "math talk." I made 4 sets of cards (differentiated, of course!) and 2 different recording sheets so this should keep my scholars engaged for a few weeks! Check out my sample below :)

Make sure you visit Teachers Pay Teachers tomorrow for a serious sale, y'all! I'm getting myself into quite a bit of trouble, but who can turn down a sale? Not this girl! Check out some of my products that you may be interested in :)

I've got a ton of freebies at my TpT shop as well...just head on over to grab them!

What better way to spread holiday cheer than to have a giveaway? Having the Elf visit from the North Pole brings much joy to our class and I want another class to experience the same! I'll be giving away one copy of the book as well as Kreative in Kinder's Elf on a Shelf Unit that she has graciously offered! Winner will be announced on December you have 7 days to enter! 

Have a great Sunday, y'all! 

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Daily Math Warm-Up Cards

I hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. If you didn't read my post about my Thankful Thoughts on Thanksgiving [here], I want you to know how thankful I am that you read my blog! Blogging has been such a blessing and I am so grateful for each and every person that has stopped by, inspired me, and shared this journey with me!

 I decided to forgo the Black Friday mayhem so I am doing a bit of online shopping and football watching in my PJs. Talk about a perfect morning! :) 

I wanted to share something I started to use this year during guided math and small group instruction. I created these Math Warm-Up cards to review key concepts and skills with my little scholars. I differentiated the cards so each math group uses a different set of cards on a ring. For example, some of my kiddos still need practice with one-to-one correspondence, naming shapes, and positional words so those cards are included on the ring. My little scholars who are a bit more advanced use the counting to 100 cards and the naming both flat and solid shapes cards. Once your kiddos demonstrate mastery, you can take the card off the ring and file it away! I switch the cards every week or two depending on my kiddos' progress. I've found these cards to be an effective tool to build mastery of those crucial foundational math skills. The following Kindergarten Common Core Math Standards are included:

K.CC.1 Count to 100 by ones and tens.
K.G.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientation or overall size.
K.G.5 Model shapes in the world by drawing shapes.
K.CC.4a When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object (one to one correspondence).
K.CC.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20.
K.G.1 Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to (positional words).

Click the picture to check them out! 

Also, I am super excited about the Cyber Monday [and Tuesday] sale at Teachers pay Teachers. I've already filled my cart and am waiting for Monday to check out! Everything in my shop will be 20% off plus an additional 10% off using the code CMT12 at checkout! :) 

If you're not a follower, I'd love for you to follow along! You don't want to miss out on freebies and flash giveaways! :) 


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Thankful on Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! I'm away from my family in California this Thanksgiving and have been spending the past week with my boyfriend and his family in Nashville. It is so wonderful to visit and be on a vacation, but I sure do miss home! We're headed out this afternoon for a not-so-traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Maggiano's. I'm sure going to miss my mama's delish pumpkin pie! 

Its this time of the year that reminds me to be thankful for everything that I have and just how blessed I am. 

I am so thankful for such an amazing boyfriend. We both relocated to teach in rural Mississippi and  met during our first year of teaching. He is kind, considerate, and always makes me laugh. Plus he puts up with my teacher-pinterest-blog talk all.the.time. I am so blessed!

I am so thankful for my mom and the rest of my wonderful family. My mom has been so generous to my kiddos year after year! While we live thousands of miles apart, we talk or text daily and are bffs! 

I cannot forget what a blessing the blogosphere has been to me! I am so incredibly thankful for each person that reads my blog.  I love being able to share ideas and learning from one another. I especially love that I get to peek into teachers classrooms all across the country! Not only has blogging blessed me but Teachers pay Teachers as well. I cannot tell you how the resources that I have purchased through Teachers pay Teachers have changed my teaching. And I am incredibly flattered that teachers are able to use things I've created in their classrooms too! THANK YOU so much! :) 

And this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning my babes, Duncan and Jackson. I just love them to death! Being greeted by their wagging tails every afternoon is simply the best :)

I hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving with those you love! 

"Be grateful because there is someone else who'd love to be in your shoes." Walter Hawkins


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Santa's Personal Message to My Class!

Just popping in to share the most fabulous thing with y'all!  I've been in Nashville for the past couple of days visiting with my boyfriend's family for the Thanksgiving holiday. We were walking around downtown yesterday and I saw some news vans and an ENORMOUS semi-truck. After begging the BF to walk with me to check it out...guess what we see! The Capitol Christmas Tree on its way to Washington D.C. The tree's entourage included none other than Santa and Mrs. Clause! I managed to get a picture with Santa and I was excited to show my kiddos at school on Monday. I told him I was a kindergarten teacher and then Santa offered to record a message for my kiddos. I'm hoping this personal message from Santa Clause himself might curb some of the crazy Christmastime behavior! You better believe I am playing this baby 
Enjoy :)

We're off the the mall to get a picture of our pups with Santa. Yes, we are THOSE people! ;) 

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Number Sort [Freebie!]

Quite an eventful day couple of days, y'all. It started last week when one of my most darling, helpful, kind, sweeties was abruptly withdrawn from school. My heart just broke because of the circumstances of it all. As I left the office after saying goodbye, I was told I'd have a new student joining my class the following day. Not knowing what to expect the following day, I informed my kiddos about our new student and reminded them to make smart choices so we can show our new friend how to act. Well, new student came and my classroom was turned upside down. We somehow managed to survive and had the most wonderful surprise yesterday. My sweetie who withdrew waltzed through the door announcing that she was coming back to our school. I nearly cried and my kiddos were so excited. There was all sorts of hugging and was adorable! I am so thankful for the terrific group of kiddos I have this year, even my new little friend. :)

Moving on...we've been working on developing number sense and I created this number sort to use during math centers. There are 6 cards for each number: numeral, number word, tens and ones, objects, tallies, and ten frames. Just click the picture to grab it for F-R-E-E!

And one last thing, National Board Take One! scores will be released tomorrow morning... eeeeek! I may not be sleeping much tonight. Be on the lookout for more freebies :) 


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Rainy Day

We've had lousy weather all day so I've kept myself busy...I just uploaded a fun phoneme segmentation pack to my TpT shop. I have a couple of kiddos that are ready for this and I'm hoping by the time we're back from Christmas most of my kiddos will be too!

You can check it out at my TpT shop and for the next hour it will listed for F-R-E-E (until 6:30 CST). Its the season of being thankful and I am so thankful for the friendships I have made, fabulous ideas I have learned, and for wonderful bloggy followers. So, hurry and grab yours! :)

Also, I think I might be one of the only teachers in America going to work tomorrow...ugh! I am excited for our Veteran's Day program, however, because we have a lot of parents in the armed forces and it is so wonderful to recognize them for their bravery and dedication to our country. 


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Thrift Shop Find!

I don't know about you but I am always exhausted after Mondays! I just had to post to tell you about my thrift shop find. My BFF co-worker took me to a thrift store a few weekends ago and let me tell you, its a teacher's dreamland! I must admit, I was never one for shopping in thrift stores (aside from the themed mixer in college..the good old days!) but I am hooked. She found a laminating machine for $8 a few weeks ago and on Saturday I found this baby...

Only $18 and it is in perfect condition! 

While browsing I came across this little gem

How hilarious is this sweater? Being the dog lover that I am, I just HAD to have it! We aren't allowed to dress up for Halloween at school, but I figure I'll just wear this and a headband with puppy ears next year and they'll just think I'm my half-crazy self! :)

Now I have to know...What's your best thrift shop find?


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Calling all Read Well teachers!

Do you use the Read Well curriculum in your classroom? It's my 3rd year using the program and I am trying to spice it up a bit! I created a pocket chart center that is 100% aligned to Read Well K and includes the pattern words and tricky words from the small group units. Its super easy to differentiate...I have 4 tubs by the pocket chart center (one for each of my reading groups) and when it is their time, the kiddos just grab the tub for their group and begin! The materials in each groups tub are always from the last unit with a pass or strong pass, ensuring independence while I work with small reading groups.

I have been using it in my classroom since the beginning of the year and I just posted Units 1-10 on Teachers pay Teachers. I've included an I Can chart to foster student independence and a recording sheet for each unit for student accountability. So far my kids are LOVING it and I have noticed the results on their unit tests. My favorite part is that my kiddo are so proud of their work (the recording sheet) they read and re-read it at all times of the day (hello, building fluency!) and take it home to show their parents and families (hello, home-school connection!).

If you don't use Read Well, you're probably wondering what on earth I am talking about. But Read Well folks, you get me...right?! :)

Happy Sunday, y'all! 


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I'm baaack! :)

You may [or may not] have noticed my lengthy absence from my dear old blog. Well, I'm back! Since my last post I have moved, unpacked, taught summer school, visited friends and family in Southern California, and started a new school year with a new assistant and a new vice-principal (and as of late a new superintendent) and embarked on National Board Certification candidacy. I have 22 kiddos this year and based on the BOY DIBELS scores, I've got my work cut out for me. Needless to say, my blog has been neglected to say the least.

I finally feel like I've got it together enough [who really has it all together anyway?] to catch up with all my friends in the blogosphere. I feel like I've missed out on so much so I'll dive right in by linking up with Farley for the November Currently.

I just love anything by Putumayo Kids. I love how culturally diverse the music is...check out the website, I bet you'll them them too! 

And as a ginormous THANK YOU for following my blog even though you probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth...You can download my latest product from my Teachers pay Teachers shop for F-R-E-E until 10pm CST tonight (sorry y'all, I can't stay up later than that!).  I use this packet to teach phoneme segmentation and my kiddos just LOVE it! We use a small toy car to segment the sounds and it is great for those tactile-kinesthetic learners. (Really though, what kinder kiddos doesn't like to touch everything things?) While you're at my shop, how about following my shop and leaving some love? :) And if you're not a follower yet....follow my dear blog first then head over to TpT to grab your freebie!

Hope y'all are having a fabulous weekend! :)


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