Sunday, September 22, 2013

October Fun!

Happy fall ya'll!! Mother nature was very punctual this year, because the weather outside feels GREAT! Too bad it won't stay that way for long! In celebration of the first day of my most favorite season, I have some finds and freebies to share with you today!

I've been gearing up to get my class ready for our next unit....Creepy Creatures! Since we can't officially "celebrate" Halloween, I try to find other ways to make the season fun. Throughout the next few weeks, my class and I will be learning ALL about pumpkins, spiders, bats, and owls! 

To prepare myself for one of my most favorite units of the year, I stopped by the Target dollar section and Dollar Tree, and boy did I find some treasures!

As soon as I saw all these creepy creatures, I just knew I had to snag them and find a way to sneak them into my math tubs for next week. I'm currently tying up the loose ends on my newest TPT unit, but until it's ready to be posted, I thought I'd share a few of the math activities with you as freebies.

Both math activities you'll find in this little packet use the manipulatives you see above, or the ones I provided for you to print! Both activities focus on addition {since that's the concept my sweeties are currently studying}. In the first activity, students use the ice cube 10s frame OR the one provided on the paper to make a sum of 10. Students roll the dice, place that many orange (or black) spiders on the 10s frame and then add the other color until they make 10. When finished, the students record their number sentences on the recording sheet. I have provided two different recording sheets for you to use, depending on if you use ice cube trays or the 10s frame provided for you on the page. I have also added some spider manipulatives in case you don't have any of your own!

Here's a look at the recording sheets:

Here's the sheet to use if you don't have ice cube trays of your own:

The next activity I created using the Target Dollar Section stickers (or any creepy creature stickers you can find). Students will place the stickers on the recording sheet and make a matching story problem.

To download your own copies of the activities you see above, just click the picture below!

I hope that these activities help you in your classroom this month!! Please check back soon, as I will be uploading more creepy creatures activities in my newest unit...

Have a great Sunday!
Happy Teaching!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday!

Hi, pals!! I hope everyone is having a very restful post-fourth Friday! Today I wanted to do a quick little post to link up with none other than CC herself (I like to pretend we are on a nickname basis) for Favorite Pins Friday! I wanted to link up in this post for a variety of reasons. Pinterest has definitely been a life changing sort of experience for me. Any time I want to try a new recipe, find a product, or get ideas for a teaching activity I instantly turn to Pinterest! It only makes sense that we all share all the treasures we've found surfing through the site, and I'm so glad Cara made that possible! So without further ado....

Favorite Teaching Pins

I found this darling idea a few weeks ago and immediately pinned it! Back to school night is always a little chaotic, and I thought this would be such a fun way to keep things interesting!

This next pin is on my to-do list before next school year! I thought this fabulous idea from Hooty's Homeroom is a great way to actually show the kids what you expect out of their writing. 

Favorite Food Pins

Pinning new food ideas is probably the most useful thing about Pinterest for me! My friends and I have monthly Pinterest parties where we each try out a recipe we pinned. It's such a great way to actually put all that pinning to use, and gives us a good excuse to get together!

I made this recipe for Skinny Broccoli and Chicken Alfredo from Table for Two a few weeks ago and all I can say is...YUM! The recipe subs Greek yogurt in for a lot of the not-so-good for you stuff, and you can't even tell the difference! 

Do It Yourself

Another great thing about Pinterest is that it gives you access to super fun and easy do it yourself projects! Since moving into a new house I have definitely tried to embrace my inner do-it-yourselfer! Here are just a few of the ideas I've tried or have on my list..

I made these wine glasses from Just Short of Crazy for my sisters for Christmas last year and they were a HIT! We still use them at all our family gatherings and it's a great way to keep track of our glasses!

I also made these beautiful Christmas ornaments from Flea Market Style last year. When I first saw this Pin I just KNEW I had to have them! They were pretty easy and cheap, and definitely looked beautiful on the tree!

Funny Stuff

I could spend HOURS on Pinterest just looking at all of the funny animal pins.'s a huge time waster, so I don't advise trying it! Here are a few of my favs...

Makes me laugh every.single.time

 Well, that's about all the Pins I can handle for a day! I can't wait to see all the goodies you've found while Pinteresting! I'll be back again next Thursday to share some more of my Pinterest findings. In the meantime, be sure to link up with my girl Cara for Favorite Pins Friday!

Check back soon for more updates! Have a great one!

Let's Catch Up!

Hi, sweet friends! Long time, no see! I am so happy to be back to share a few updates on my classroom  this school year. 
I don't know about you but, back to school was pretty much a whirlwind for me. I traveled to Europe and returned a short 3 days before the kiddos were to arrive { What was I thinking?!}. Before leaving for my trip I had my classroom all ready to go, but when I got back I was offered a new classroom with a Smartboard! So, what's a girl to do?

Naturally, I picked the room with the Smartboard (duh!) and pulled a last minute switch-a-roo....with the help of my loved ones, of course. So tonight I have a few classroom snapshots for you. Unfortunately, I can't say that every.single.thing in my classroom is just how I want it to be, but it's pretty darn close. I feel like I am never 100 percent satisfied no matter what I do, but I gotta tell ya I am really liking the set up so far. I know things will change and be added as the year progresses, but I'm glad to have a good start. 
Am I the only one who feels this way?

As far as classroom decor goes, I typically like warmer color schemes and very little clutter. I am *somewhat* of a  freak for organization and labeling (just don't open my cabinets). That being said, I {shamefully} have not finished labeling everything in my classroom. Thanks to a sweet parent of one of my students, I was able to get this great cubby system to organize all of our math tubs and manipulatives. I actually have two cubbies side by side, with the manipulatives spanning the top 6 cubbies and math/ dessert tubs occupying the bottom two rows. 

Since I teach K/1 gifted, a WHOLE lot of differentiation goes on in my little classroom....which means I also need a WHOLE lot of storage for all these center activities. It took a while, but I finally figured out a way to keep it all straight (for me and the kids). My higher students use the blue baskets as math tubs and my lower students use the green baskets. Of course, no one knows which group they are in, they just know what color math tub they are to use. The dessert tubs are in the purples containers to the right. I keep a folder in each tub with the recording sheets that correspond to each activity. The students know which math tub they are to complete on each day, and they are responsible for getting the necessary supplies from the tubs. I typically make 4 different math tub activities per week for each group of students (that's 8 in all) and I usually set out 3-4 dessert tubs each week.
 Needless to say, my "Sunday Fundays" consist of wine, Breaking Bad, and my laminating machine :)

The top baskets house our extra materials (glue, pencils, scissors, markers, etc.) and I use the three tier paper caddy to hold loose-leaf paper, construction paper, and blank writer's workshop papers. 

On another note, our school-wide back to school theme this year was "Wild Wild West". It was so much fun to get the whole school dressed up and excited to start of the school year! To celebrate the fun, my students and I read How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague, wrote about our own summer vacations, and finished up with a cute little cowboy/ cowgirl craftivity. It was a rootin' tootin' good time!
For the faces I simply used paper plates. I made a template for the hat and bandanna that I will be uploading as a freebie in the very near future. 

I can't wait to share more updates on my classroom with you, friends. 
In the mean time, enjoy your week!
 Happy Monday!