November 28, 2014

Black Friday DEALS ~ Shop Til You Drop!

Thanksgiving is over and now it's time to shop, shop, shop!! I've linked up with Primary Possibilities to offer some great Black Friday (and Saturday) deals for only $1!!! These 4 products will only be $1 for a limited time, so snatch them up NOW!
My Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Digraphs game is brand-new and can be played multiple ways to help your students master digraphs. 
Students can sort the word or picture cards to the correct digraph bathtub depending on their skill level. They can also match the word to the correct picture as well!
After students finish playing the game, they can complete this worksheet to get even more practice on digraphs, and it could be a quick assessment for you to see if they know their digraph sounds. 
If you are still working on the alphabet and sounds, check out this "sweet" game! 
Students can match uppercase and lowercase letters, match letters to their beginning sound, or match all 3! 
My class loves games, so I incorporate game boards into a lot of my centers. I also use the same board over and over and just switch out the cards! Here, students are drawing a card and saying what beginning sound they hear, or what sound that letter makes. If correct, they can roll the dice and move around the game board. 
Here's a super simple game to teach students silent e, magic e, super, e...whatever you call it. They simply read the CVC word, then flip the end of the paper down to reveal the e. Then they can read the new word. There is a recording sheet to go with this game. This is one of my best sellers and it's only a $1 right now!!
If you're already planning for Christmas, grab this "War" card game for only $1. War is always a hit with my students!
Grab all of these for only $1, but be quick, you only have 2 days to shop!! 

November 24, 2014

Number Sense ~ How to Represent Numbers

We start off our number sense unit by making an anchor chart that explains how we can represent numbers in many ways. Anchor charts are a great reference for students to refer to when they need help. I just make simple anchor charts, that I whip up with the students. I read once that anchor charts need to be authentic and done in class with the students, not made up ahead of time. This way students follow along with what you are explaining and get to help create the chart with their ideas/examples.
Students need a lot of practice with number sense, so they truly understand how numbers work and are related to each other. I created these simple worksheets to have students work on the multiple ways to show a number. I made the worksheets double sided and then put them in sheet protectors to make them dry-erase. They love anything dry-erase!! You can find these worksheets in my store here
I also have a version for numbers 11-20 here!
This treasure number sense game has students matching up gold coins that show a variety of ways to represent numbers to the correct treasure box with the number on it. While working with students on number sense, I have students explain how they got their answers to see if they really know how to recognize numbers and relate them to each other without always having to count all of the dots on a dice or ten frame. Students that really grasp this concept should be able to say "I know there are 5 dots on the top of a 10 frame, so I counted 5 then added the 3 more on the bottom row to get 8. 
This file folder game below can be played 3 different ways. Students can match up the number word, number, or number sets to the correct dog house. 
Have you ever played Kaboom? My students love it so much, that I keep it in centers all year round. It's super easy to prepare too! For number sense practice, I put popsicle sticks in a small Pringles can. On the popsicle sticks I write numbers, number words, tally marks, dice, etc. The students pick one out at a time and say what number it is, if correct, they can keep it. If they pick the KABOOM stick, they have to return all of their popsicle sticks back to the container. 
Once you feel that your students really understand number sense, you could do my Number Sense Fluency & Fitness game. It projects number sense skills onto your screen for students to say and every so often an exercise screen comes up to get them moving! It's a great way to review these skills, but the students think they are getting a brain break! :) Here's a peek of a few of the Number Sense Fluency & Fitness games in action!

November 16, 2014

TPT Milestone SALE & Collaborative Blog Announcement

EEEKKK!! I'm SOO excited to say that I've met the 1st TPT milestone!! Thank you all so much for supporting my store and helping me reach this milestone. I'm SOOOO grateful!! All of my Fluency & Fitness bundles will be 20% OFF today through Wednesday. You might also see a Flash Freebie here or there on my Facebook or Instagram so be sure you are following! ;)
If you haven't seen my Fluency & Fitness Bundles yet, where have you been?? Just kidding! I have created slideshows that present a skill up on a big screen. Students say the word, sound, number, etc. but if they see a slide with a kid exercising, they have to do that exercise. The teacher is in control of when the slides switch, soooo you get to decide how long your students exercise. ;) It's a great brain break! Teachers say their students are asking for this daily!!

Here's an example of the Sounds Fluency & Fitness

Below are a few examples of the slides you'd find in my Fluency and Fitness Bundles. I have over 15 bundles to help students of all ages work on math and reading skills!

I also recently joined 16 other fantastic ladies and we started this collaborative blog! Today on the blog is my day to introduce myself. Click here to visit our blog, grab a FREEBIE from me, and enter the huge giveaway we have going on for just a few more days!

November 12, 2014

It's Turkey Time!

I finally got my Thanksgiving packet updated with a few new games and I got to use some of Krista Wallden's adorable Thanksgiving Buddies clipart! This packet has 13 games now and can be used for social studies, reading, writing, and math!! In case you are preparing your Thanksgiving themed centers, read below to see some of the games included. 
We are continuing to work on recognizing and counting numbers. Students got to use feathers to add to these turkeys, which was a big hit! Be prepared to find pieces of feather everywhere! For the clothespin count & clip game, I put a dot on the back of the card behind the correct answer so they can be self-checking.
We also used these number puzzles to work on 1-1 correspondence!
It's time to introduce 2D and 3D shapes, so I made this simple sorting game. Students sort shape cards and cards with real life images. There is also a worksheet for students to cut/paste the images into the boats. 
 To gear up for our mClass Dibels math assessments, I always throw in some missing number worksheets. I add them to sheet protectors so they can be in centers and used over and over.
 Here's a simple color by number that comes with 3 versions of worksheets.
To review beginning sounds some more, I made this simple matching game. My students also like to play this as memory too!
The students had so much fun with this sight word game! It is played like Old Maid and whoever was left with the "dinner" card lost. They weren't very good at keeping it a secret when they picked the "dinner" card from a friend.

I do scrambled sentences in my classroom all the time! The students love them and they work on so many skills! These boys were building 5 sentences about Thanksgiving and learning some new vocabulary such as Pilgrims and Native Americans which one boy kept calling it Navy Americans LOL!
I also always try to include an emergent reader into my centers. This gives students a chance to work on reading, hunt for sight words, and just take a relaxing break to color. I created 2 emergent readers for this month, and this "Hunting for Hats" has the turkey finding different color of hats. 
I've been doing the disguise a turkey project ever since I started teaching. It's one of my favorite bulletin boards to do because it gets parents involved and the turkeys always turn out so dang cute! Some parents are very creative!! Like my title "Turkey Dressing"?? I got the pattern for these turkeys so many years ago, I can't even remember where. However, my friend Melissa has a really cute "Disguise a Turkey" product you can find here if you are looking for a turkey template. 
How cute are these three turkeys!!!
Here's another bulletin board I like to put up in November about how to cook a turkey. It is really funny to see how the students think a turkey is made. Like my turkey in a pan?? I found this turkey hat a few years back in the Target dollar spot and knew I could use it for something. 
I just had to share these two papers. In case you aren't a Kindergarten teacher that knows how to read this kind of writing, let me share what it says. 

(left paper) First, grab them by the neck. Next, peck the feathers off. Then, put it in the oven. Cook at 20 degrees for 1 minute. Serve with soup.
(right paper) First, kill it. Next, take the bones out. Then, take the feathers off. Cook at 30 degrees for 10 minute. Serve with carrots.
You can grab this and 2 more writing prompts for FREE in my TPT store!!
If you want to see what other activities are included in my Thanksgiving Bundle, click here!

November 10, 2014

Liebster Award

I've have been busy lately and slacking on my TPT products and blogging, but I have some exciting news... I've been nominated by 3 bloggers for the Liebster Award which is an award for new bloggers! Thanks so much to Kristen from A Loveli Class, Laura from Luv My Kinders, and Michaela from K's Classroom Kreations. You are all so very kind to nominate me, and I'm very grateful!! 
The Liebster Award is given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers. It's a great way to meet new bloggers that have great content, but just haven't been noticed yet! As part of the award, I get to answer 11 questions for you to get to know me better. Then I get to nominate 11 more blog that I love! Here we go...

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I started blogging this past August. I have thought about starting a blog for the past year, but didn't know if I'd have time and what all I would write about. I'm really happy I decided to make the jump. It's been a great way to meet new teachers and share my ideas and products in action! 

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Appealing - I try to share interesting ideas that can be used for a variety of age groups. I also like to share some of my personal side as well, so followers get to know me a bit more. 

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
I started my blog after attending a session from Miss Kindergarten at the TPT conference. She had so many helpful tips on how to size your pictures, add links, pin to Pinterest, add labels, schedule a post, etc. I do wish I would've taken more pictures! You can never have enough pictures to put on your blog, but you can have an idea of what you did in your room that you want to share, then come to find out your didn't take a picture of it. 

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
When I'm not blogging, I love spending time with my husband. Even now that we work together, I never get sick of being around him :) We've been together almost 16 years, and just get a long so well. Sounds cheesy, I know! We like doing things together whether it be watching tv, shopping, grabbing a few drinks, people watching LOL!, traveling, or just the daily grind of work. 

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
I probably spend about 3 hours or so on my blog by the time I edit pictures, get a post up, put it on social media. Editing pictures and adding my watermark to all of them probably takes the most time. 

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy reading post about activities that teachers do in their classroom. There are so many creative teachers out there, that we can always learn something new! Sometimes I read a post and think DUH, how did I not think of that. Reading other blogs is such a great way to keep our teaching up to date and makes us think about how to be a better teacher and not get stuck in a rut. 

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
When I first started blogging, I did visit Miss Kindergarten's blog and Easy Teaching Tools blog (my Vegas roomie from the TPT conference) to see what all they included in their blog set-up and some of their posts.

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I would say I'm more proud of a product rather than a post, which would be my Fluency & Fitness Bundles. You can read one of my first blog posts ever {here} which explains how the Fluency & Fitness games work. I've has so many teachers leave feedback about how their kids ask to do these games daily, how much their students are becoming more fluent in that skill, and how they can't wait for me to make more. I try to comment on everyone's feedback because it really does make me smile when I see how one of my products is making students enjoy learning! I even teared up on some of the comments teachers have left on these bundles. 

9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now?
I have some of my favorite products that I haven't gotten to write about. I need to get better pictures of the activities of the ones I have and it seems like I always have another blog post idea, so that blog idea always gets put on the back burner. 

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
I mentioned this earlier, but I love the fact that I can connect with so many teachers through blogging. I also love being able to share my ideas, experiences, and what I've learned through my years of teaching.

11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most likely to try yourself?

I love Laura's writing center she posted about here. I think the idea of having the cards displayed with clothespins is genius, so kids can take them down, write the word, and then put them back up. How easy to change just a few cards when ready! Check out Michaela's simple napkin books that can be used for any season or holiday, so simple and smart! I'm going to have to remember this idea! Kristen has a cute cause and effect lesson to go with the book A Bad Case of Stripes that I think would be fun to do! She even dressed up Camilla Cream!

Here are my nominees for the Liebster Award

To those nominated, here are the rules:
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! 
(You can just put your post link in the comments below!)                 

November 6, 2014

~Aloha~ All About my Hawaii Trip

My trip to Kauai, Hawaii has been over a year in the making! About a year and a half ago, some of our best friends suggested going to Kauai together. My sister works for the Hyatt, and I can get incredible family rates, so we knew we would stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.  We were arriving as Hurricane Ana was supposed to hit. Thankfully, it went by the island and we only had to deal with rain and strong winds the first day. 

The Grand Hyatt hotel was amazing and had beyond gorgeous views! As soon as you arrive you get "leid" and they have an open-air view of the ocean from the lobby. Here are some pictures of the hotel and the spectacular views from the grounds of the Hyatt. 
There are beautiful tropical flowers everywhere around the hotel! Inside the lobby you can find a few colorful parrots, and around the walkways there are little salamanders. One rainy day, we saw this baby salamander inside by our room.
Of course we had to go to a Luau while we were in Hawaii. We went to the Hyatt Luau, but there are a few different Luaus to choose from on Kauai. There was a huge display of food to choose from as well as unlimited Mai Tais, beer, and wine. :) The show included many short songs with a variety of hula dancers, both male and female. The fire dancer was probably the coolest and the girl dancers sure do know how to move their hips fast! Make sure you check out the dates of all of the luaus because many of them are only offered a few days a week. 
We wanted to go all out while we were in Hawaii and do as much as possible. We went on Captain Andy's Na Pali Dinner Sunset Sail, which is a dinner cruise up the Na Pali coastline. It was about a 4 1/2 hour boat ride with gorgeous views once again. The staff on the boat is very accommodating and friendly. We were served steak and shrimp with free cocktails, wine, or beer on the ride back. Sadly, my husband got a bit sea sick and didn't get to enjoy most of the cruise. One suggestion I'd have is to book this in advance online to save a little bit of money and that way it doesn't fill up on the day you want to go cruisin'.  
We saw a few dolphins on our boat ride! I had to just keep shooting my camera and hope I could get a photo, because the dolphins weren't swimming above the water too much. I took many pictures on the boat ride, but I liked this one of the coastline with the clouds overhead. The Captain told us this archway (bottom left) is a popular scene from many movies such as King Kong and Pirates of the Caribbean. As we almost finished our tour, we saw this breathtaking sunset!
One of the last few days in Kauai, Blake and I went on a helicopter ride. This is something I'd read about online as being one of the most popular adventures to do in Kauai, because so much of the island can only be seen by air. Kauai is also supposed to be one of the best places anywhere to do a helicopter ride. We chose to go big or go home and do the "doors off" tour with Jack Harter Helicopters. Yes, that's right, there were no doors on our helicopter.
Blake was a bit nervous to go after being sick on the boat ride. I also didn't want to have to put him through that again, but everyone at the hotel said we didn't want to miss the helicopter ride and it's a lot sturdier and calmer than being on a boat.  They were right! We felt completely safe up in the air, and Blake didn't feel queasy one bit. The breeze on your face was so nice and you had amazing views! He did hold on to the handle most of the ride LOL! while I was just taking videos and pictures like crazy. Can you say GORGEOUS?? 
 Do you see the rainbow over the waterfall? This island is so lush and is called the "garden island". I completely agree when people say this is a must-do for Kauai!!!
Do you want to experience the helicopter ride? Here's a short video of our ride. (turn down the volume, it's noisy!)

What better way to end this post than with a toast! :) Here's a few of the yummy cocktails I had throughout the trip. Mai Tais are their staple drink, but I loved the Lava Flows.  A Lava Flow is a Pina Colada with strawberry puree, it's like dessert in a glass. 
If you are planning a trip to Kaui and want more tips on places to eat or things to do, feel free to e-mail me and I can give you some advice!

November 2, 2014

November Currently

I'm linking up again with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for her monthly Currently linky. Be sure to check out her page to see what your favorite bloggers are up to! 
Listening: This week I missed "How to get Away with Murder", so I'm catching up on it. Anyone else loving all the TGIT shows this year?? Scandal is still my favorite!
Loving: My nephews are in town to visit! Looks at these cute lil monsters!! We are thinking of visiting the Indianapolis Children's Museum tomorrow because Aunt Brittany's house isn't the most fun since I don't have kids and I like my house really clean! LOL! My sister actually just entered this picture in a Halloween photo contest, so help Mike & Sully win by voting here!
Thinking: This past week I met my first TPT milestone!!! I'm so thankful that I was able to quit teaching this past year to help my husband with our business, and make some extra money through TPT. Having TPT doesn't make me miss the classroom as much, because I still get to be creative and help students learn, even if they aren't my own students.  I'm thinking about how to celebrate and what I should do for when TPT mentions it on, freebie, giveaway??? What would you like to see?  

Wanting: I just returned from Hawaii and my favorite drink there was a lava flow. It's basically a dessert in a cup :) A lava flow is a Pina Colada with strawberry puree, I've heard it called Miami Vice at other bars before. These babies were about $14 a pop, so drinking in Hawaii can add up fast. 
Needing: I need to get back on schedule with my blogging, social media, TPTing, etc. We were in Hawaii for 10 days, so leading up to vacation and returning home has been about packing, unpacking, laundry, and catching up on our business. It's been a busy week! Sorry I've been slacking!!

Reading: I've started a new series by Maya Banks as recommended by a friend. I'm on the 2nd book in the series which is "Giving In". These books are very similar to 50 Shades of Grey. I read a lot over the Summer, but don't have as much time throughout the year. The first book in the series was a quick read and gave me something to do while laying by beach.

That's what I'm up to on this very chilly day in November. Go link up, so I can see what you've been up to this past month!