November 22, 2014


It has been ages since I have jumped in on Doodle's awesome weekly linky.  It sounds stilly, but it feels like I am missing out on some big party every time the weekend rolls around and I fail to post. Well, Mrs. Dolling put on her big girl panties this week and kept her camera handy.  I managed to get enough footage to cobble one of these together. So, without wasting a moment more with all this yammering, I bring you a wacky Five For Friday (on a Saturday - go figure).  

We had a string of rainy days this week mixed with constant interruption - lockdown drills, countless office phone calls, an assembly, Thanksgiving play practice, hot dogs . . . the works I tell ya.  With this said, I KNOW that y'all KNOW exactly what this does to your classroom routines and systems.  I was doing everything I could to stay ahead of them by the time the afternoon rolled around.  Well, Kim Sutton's Random Numbers Activities were just what I needed to break up our math block.  The kiddos were engaged, learning, and quiet. PTL! Creative Mathematics definitely came through for me this week!  

This resource really rocks my socks!
CLICK HERE to check Kim's books out.
Love them all :)
Along the random and constant interruption note, you thought I was being my usual nutty self when I wrote "hot dog" in the paragraph above, huh??  Well, it ain't as out of left field as you might think.  After lunch on Monday, as the kids are walking back in the door, a babe calls out, "Hey, there's a hot dog on the floor."  I thought it was from the kitchen set.  Therefore, I chose to pick my battle and ignore it.  Um, my mistake.  Within seconds, five or more kids were circled around an object on the floor (with more sweeties exiting the carpet with each tick of the clock).  Yup.  There was a piece of hot dog on the floor and it took about 10 minutes to calm them back down.  Okay, so I was laughing uncontrollably and that probably fed the situation. However, you just gotta go with the flow in first grade :)

I used a tissue to pick it up.  #sogross
These boys asked to pose in the picture.
Speaking of the staying ahead of them line (especially right after the hot dog incident), I tried some out of the box transitions to help keep 'em in line.  One in particular stood out as my favorite.  We completed a math paper and I asked them to file their corrected papers in their mailboxes.  However, I asked them to walk with their paper on their head.  This transpired into a silent transition . . . #teachervictory!  Try this one when they are antsy and you can feel a loud transition brewing.  It works - at least once ;) 

Our annual 1st Grade Thanksgiving Play was on Thursday night.  Although we weren't quite sure how it was going to turn out this year, the babes pulled it off when things mattered most.  SWOON!  Our students performed, sang a little song, and  stated why they are thankful. It was a sweet little evening and I was very thankful for my crew . . . and awesome co-teacher!

SO . . . my December Math Centers, Activities, & More pack is already up. Sometimes I surprise myself :) This round is differentiated for both 1st and 2nd grade and . . . wait for it . . . EVERY SINGLE activity is editable!  This pack includes a song from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes (like usual) and it even contains a fun little math craft.  

Here is just a peek at some of the items included!

I also have a Noun packet that is nearly finished (one more activity write up) and a digraph collection (SH to be specific) that is 3/4 of the way done! Gonna buckle down this week and get 'er done.  

These two are COMING SOON!  GO KELLEY, GO!!!!

Alright, that's it from this girl.  Thanks so much for visiting me today. I am off to work on the postcard exchange and then it is down to Chico to meet a fellow Nor Cal Blogger . . . Renee from Fantastic First Grade Froggies.  YAY!


November 20, 2014


Boy, oh boy . . . do I have the professional development opportunity for you Cali teachers!  Ron and Nancy Brown from Intelli-Tunes are heading down to the bottom part of the great state of California right after Thanksgiving to present ROCK YOUR MATH CLASS (K-5).  And, as an added Golden State bonus, they will be in the mid-state area shortly thereafter.  It's math PD at it's finest, folks! Check out the lineup below!

Anaheim, CA
December 3, 2014

San Bernardino, CA
December 5, 2014

San Jose, CA
December 9, 2014

Sacramento, CA
December 10, 2014

I have been to oodles of these workshops over the years (uh . . . go figure) and they NEVER disappoint.  Sure, I may be a bit partial as these amazing educators are my parents, but teachers are always coming up to me saying how much they love Intelli-Tunes workshops.  It always makes my buttons pop ;) So, if you like what I do here, you will LOVE what they have cooking.  Let's just say that I learned from the BEST!  

Rock Your Math Class is one day workshop for K-5.  It is jam-packed with exciting new elements and strategies to math math meaningful and fun.  To learn more, CLICK HERE!

Alright, all you alls.  I am out of here.  I'll see you this weekend with my Math Station Packet for December!!!  


November 16, 2014


Hey friends . . . long time no write.  'Tis the season to get behind, I guess.  I wanted to quickly touch base to let y'all know that I am helping sweet Cheryl over at Primary Graffiti with her annual postcard exchange.  Before you scroll to get signed up (it's VERY limited at this time) . . . let me explain.  We are officially full at this time.  If you just signed up with me . . . or with Cheryl earlier in the school year, expect an official address confirmation email to hit your inboxes NO later than Saturday.  Thanks for your interest my friends :)

So, Cheryl started this whole process awhile back and already hosted sign-ups. However, some personal issues kept her from finishing things up and she asked me to help her out this year.  This is such a cool project (I have helped in the past) and I couldn't turn her down.  I was honored that she asked ;)  

Let me be right up front about the states that we need.  There are only a handful of them (just 4 states to be exact).  Sorry folks . . . it's just too late in the game to get a second exchange up and going.  However, PLEASE mark those calendars for next late-July. We will be back to host once again and there will be additional opportunities to get in on the action.  Oh, and just to be clear here.  This is different than the PEN PAL PAIR UP that I host every summer.  I know I have confused people in the past (read the "fine print" to see what this one is all about).

On that note, we are looking for one teacher from each of the following states. If your state is NOT listed, we are full for your area :(  However, if you see your state's name . . . keep reading to find out how to sign up . . . 

New Hampshire

Before I get ahead of myself, I need to tell you that there is a commitment involved . . . please read the notes carefully to ensure that you wish to participate (it does require some ciz-ash on your part for postcards and postage).  If you have ANY reservations about this, please pass on signing up until your questions are answered.  We are looking for a solid commitment. Sorry to be a bit poopy here, but the kids are served SO much better when they receive a postcard from each state.  

Alright, moving on to the supplies needed . . . 49 postcards, 49 stamps, and 49 labels.  I know.  I know.  It seems like a lot, but it's well worth it . . . believe me!  You will receive 49 postcards in exchange!!  My kids flipped out every time I told them that we had "mail."

You may choose to purchase or create your postcards once we have confirmed that you are in the exchange.   I sent a design off to Vista Print to save myself the headache of searching for state postcards.  However, it's your call. Remember . . . this exchange DOES cost money.  Expect to spend about $30 for postcards, postage, and labels by the time you finish.  Again . . . I promise that it is worth the time and money!

Once we have ALL of the states filled, I will prepare the labels with each participants' name and address.  You can print them out and stick 'em to the cards . . . this way we will save you at least a little leg work :)

We suggest allowing students to have ownership of the exchange by creating a message with your class.  This way it will be more meaningful when your students receive their cards.  We usually put facts about our school and class as well as info about our state in our messages.  Both Cheryl and I prepared the messages on larger sticky labels and had the kids stick them to the cards. However, if you have older kiddos, you may choose to have them copy the message that y'all came up with.  

All cards must be mailed by December 31st.  I know that Christmas is a crazy time, but we gotta get this up and rolling NOW.  Hopefully, this date gives you a little cushion to fulfill your commitment to the exchange. Remember . . . Turkey Break and Christmas Vacay are BOTH hiding in this date range :) 

Finally today . . . once all of the slots are filled, we will send out an email confirmation (please do not order postcards or start the process until you have been confirmed).  We are hoping to have this process completed by early next week, but we will see how things go.  You will need to reply to our confirmation within 48 hours (we will be sure to post it on our blogs too).  If a response is not received we will have to offer up your slot to the next person who signed up for your state.  

After reading all of that and your state is listed above, maybe you are still game??  If yes, comment on this post and shoot me an email with your name and an address where you want the cards sent. . .  I will get back to you today!!!!

Oh, and on a final, FINAL note . . . for all you alls that signed up back in August with Primary Graffiti . . . you may still be in the mix.  As soon as all of the slots are filled, I will be in touch with the teacher who signed up first from each state.  Sit tight my friends.  We should have this all ironed out by next weekend {fingers and toes crossed}.  I have a Thanksgiving Play tucked in the middle of the week, but I vow to find the time!  

Alright, my friends.  Have a wonderful Sunday.  I'll be back soon :)


November 9, 2014


I just love it when I get my act together on a Sunday and get our paper plans put in cyber form!  As usual, these just show a snippet of the activities we have planned and they are subject to change.  However, this is the schedule that we will use to launch into most of our week!  To see the plans in further detail or to snag links, click a picture . . . any picture :)

Good Morning Work is a staple in our room.  
Monday is all about Veterans.  Reagan Tunstall is helping in the math department!
Most of the rest of this week will be dedicated to introducing and practicing fact families.
I see a lot of helpful friends showing up during center time this week.
Thank you for making us look good . . . Susan Jones, Katie King, and Annie Moffatt!
Teaching In High Heels has the best Veteran Mini Book (Monday).
Our whole group phonics focus this week will be Short U.
Super Fun Dog Tag Reflective write on Monday afternoon.
Stephanie Stewart's awesome Long Voyage Craftivity on Wednesday.
The Flutter Girls' amazing Interactive Thanksgiving Story the rest of the week!
On a final note, during Thursday or Friday afternoon we will be sneaking in one of my favorite art projects of the year.  It didn't really fit into a template, so I figured I would just showcase it separately.  A Plate Full of Thanks is always a crowd pleaser and the parents LOVE these.  

We always get the sweetest thoughts on this one.  
And, the kids learn how to set a table!

Alright, so there you be.  Our weekly plans in a nutshell.  If you have any questions, feel free to give me a shout.  A HUGE thank you to all of the bloggers who are helping us have a stellar week (such fantastic ideas, ladies)! Be sure to check out all of the other posts over on Ms. Willis' page.  Hugs!!

November 6, 2014


Let's be honest with ourselves.  November is jam-packed with turkeys, Thanksgiving, thankful thoughts, and end of the trimester assessments.  In the past, I have crammed Veterans Day into an afternoon or slipped an activity in here or there.  Well, after visiting the Normandy Coast and seeing the amazing poppy installation at the Tower of London just last month, I can't let this holiday slip by without paying tribute to our veterans.  On that note, next Monday will be dedicated to celebrating those brave men and women who have served (and continue to serve) our country.    

Here's a quick run down of our Monday schedule (11/10/14): 

As we kick off the day, our centers will be veteran/soldier themed.  Our aide will host a vocabulary introduction and work on veteran themed vocab flip books. The kids will write sentences containing the new vocabulary.  

Monday's mommy helper will man the Camouflage Read the Room activity. We will be rolling with this template sight word style.  

In my group, we will be reading the wonderful Veterans Day mini book from Teaching In High Heels.  This reader is a PERFECT introduction for our babes.  

After groups, the crew will write and design a card to send to a veteran.  I will be dropping these of with our local vet group as soon as the babes finish them up (hopefully on Tuesday)!  My guess is this one will leak over until the post-lunch period.  That's a-okay with me as we want these to be beautiful :)

Math on Monday is going to be such fun.  The queen of all that is amazing with arithmetic . . . Ms. Reagan Tunstall . . . has created the most delightful math ditties to go with Veterans Day.  Have you seen her new pack?  Uh, it will blow your mind (just like all of her products).  We will be running her themed word problems as a whole class.  Then, we will be transitioning into small groups so we can play the awesome games she has hiding in this collection - skip counting, place value work, and related numbers.  ALL of these great hands-on activities hit what we have been covering these past few weeks . . . did you read our minds, Reagan??  Hehehehehe!!!!  Thanks girl :)

After a little BRAIN BREAK (GoNoodle style), we will transition into our final project of the day.  This one hit me on the drive home from school yesterday. Let's just say that a few of our sweeties have been struggling a little in the "kind" department these days.  With this said, I wanted to parlay the military hero concept into a reflective write that gets kids thinking about ways that they could be heroes at school.  I wanted buy-in with this one, so I came up with a neat craft to house the write . . . wearable dog tags.  Yup.  It's wearable work at it's finest!  I cannot wait to do this with our babes.  

Alright, so there you have it.  Our Veterans Day studies in a nutshell.  It's going to be a day jam packed with learning and celebration.  If you are interested in any of the activities with the camo background, they are in my latest mini packet - We Heart Veterans.  Most of the activities in this collection are editable. You can craft this packet to fit your exact needs.  On a final note, I priced this low - $3.  I am late to the party (as usual) and I wanted to make Veterans Day doable for more classrooms.  

As I exit, I leave you with images from our European trip that inspired me to make this collection and dedicate a whole day to vets.  I was so moved by all of the battle grounds along the Normandy Coast.  I was in tears much of the time. Thank you veterans and soldiers . . . from the bottom of my heart.  

Paratrooper John Steele's Story - The Longest Day
German Bunker
Standing on the German Bunker -
View of Utah Beach.
Pointe du Hoc
Omaha Beach

November 2, 2014


It has been a while my friends and it feels good to be pounding away on these keys again.  I was super MIA there for a bit.  Okay, so I will be honest with ya. I was in Europe for our October Break (my amazing teaching partner even picked up a few extra days so the hubs and I could extend our trip -- love you, Court). Ironically, I managed to schedule quite a few blog posts while I was gone. Many of you may not have known I was away - that was the goal anyway. However, the jet lag last week absolutely threw me for a loop and led to an absence that was actually noticeable last week. #somuchforkeepingupappearances

It was a grand trip and I was misty-eyed the WHOLE time in Paris, but our trip ate up what was known as the month of October.  What was left of the month when we returned flew by and it was time to get to gettin' on my November Math Pack.  Well, I buckled down yesterday and today (yup . . . that means no showers) and got 'er done.  Boy, am I just under the wire, or what?

This is what one look like after pullin' an intense creation session.
Sigh . . . something smells funny.
With all that said, here is a peek at the November CCSS Math Games & More set.  It has everything a teacher could want to help get them through the month of November . . . well, at least in our classroom :)

As always, these packets come with 13 games and/or activities that directly align to the first grade CCSS.  Although many other standards are covered, this month's main focus is Math.1.OA.6 - we are all about mastering those addition and subtraction facts.  This round also introduces fact families and contains multiple games that will ease your babes into the whole related fact concept.  This collection even includes a sweet little Fact Family song from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes!  

Here is this month's line up:
Counting Crows (10 More - Math.1.NBT.4 + Math.1.NBT.1)
Pilgrim Place Value (Tens/Ones - Math.1.NBT.2)
Stuff The Bird (Addition - Math.1.OA.6)
Don't Be A Turkey - Know Your Tens Facts (Math.1.OA.6)
The Great Feather Flip (Addition - Math.1.OA.6)
Sailing Through Subtraction (Math.1.OA.6)
Dining On Differences (Subtraction - Math.1.OA.6)
A Fact Family Feast (Pocket Chart Intro - Math.1.OA.6)
Fact Family Song By Intelli-Tunes (Math.1.OA.6)
Family Gathering (Fact Family Game - Math.1.OA.6)
Who's In the Tribe (Fact Family Game - Math.1.OA.6)
Great Graphs (Thanksgiving Flavored Bar Graphs - Math.1.MD.4 )
Draw and Solve (Word Problem Mini Book - Math.1.OA.2)

I am printing these as I type so I can laminate like a crazy woman during tonight's episode of The Walking Dead.  

But wait . . . don't go yet.  I hate offering up a paid product without giving you a little taste of what's inside.  It's just too commercial for me.  Here is a little corresponding freebie - Let's Talk Turkey About Equal Sums.  This fun small group game will surely delight your firsties and provide great practice on an essential first grade skill.  If you like what you see, come on back and treat yourself and your babes to the whole math collection :)

CLICK HERE to snag this file!

Alright, I am out of here.  Time to laminate and cut out math goodies :) Thanks so much for taking the time to visit.  I'll leave you with a few quick favorites from our amazing adventures in England and France.  I will spare you from sitting through all 756 photos . . . 

October 21, 2014


There are two types of Professional Development opportunities.  First, there are sessions that make you drool after lunch and doodle all dang day.   Second, there are the classes that light a spark inside that teacher brain.  They fire you up and remind you why you got into teaching in the first place.  Well, I have a few from that second category to tell ya about today :) 

Here's a PD our school hosted at the beginning of this year.
I always love putting my head together with my peers :)

Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes
If you are looking to energize your math lessons and teach those CCSS standards in an "out of the box" way . . . this is the session for you!  Catch Rock Your Math Class in a city near you (upcoming dates listed below).  I have seen this one (more than once) and it's so worth your time! Click here to learn more about this fun workshop!

  • Portland, OR - 10/27
  • Seattle, WA - 10/29
  • Oklahoma City, OK - 11/12
  • Tulsa, OK - 11/14
  • Anaheim, CA - 12/3
  • San Bernardino, CA - 12/5
  • San Jose, CA - 12/9
  • Sacramento, CA - 12/10

Kim Sutton from Creative Mathematics
I have seen 3-4 of her sessions now and I always leave feeling so excited about my math block.  Those programs can beat the love of math out of you, but Kim knows just how to fill ya right back up.  Click here to check out her various workshop/session opportunities.  (Her amazing CCSS Math Games Class has a large tour coming up in January and February).    

California Conferences
Alright, so I am being a little West Coast friendly over here, but there are a couple of really great conferences coming up in the great state of CA :)  You can catch the following conferences in early 2015.

First, I want to tell ya about the PK-1 Conference - Santa Clara, CA (1/16-1/18).  It's always a blast.  I have been attending for years and will be presenting for my second time this year.  You can catch some amazing sessions this year . . . I already have my schedule card planned out :)

Next, The Southern California Kindergarten Conference is another outstanding event.  I attended and spoke for the first time last year and it was a weekend to remember.  Oodles of bloggers and other amazing education professionals will be dishin' out their wisdom.  I am giving a little talk on CCSS Math :)

Alright my friends.  There you have it -- a mountain of upcoming PD opportunities that you may want to look into for the upcoming months.  All of these have really changed the way I teach . . . and they are SO much fun to attend :)  Thanks for visiting me today.  I'll catch you again soon!!!


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