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!!!

October 19, 2014


I am officially linking up with the fabulous Ms. Wills to give you a quick look-see at a few of next week's highlights.  We are just rollin' off of an October Break.  I know . . . I know . . . don't hate us!!  Things are gettin' going again, but we are going to hit the ground runnin'.  We are all about spiders, short vowels, and spooky CCSS goodness during this upcoming round :)

Again, these are just highlights from the week.  It's shaping up to be a stellar round (I love this time of year)!!!  Thanks for taking the time to visit me today.  I will see you again soon  . . . once we get back into the swing of things.  Here's to a wonderful week ;)

October 15, 2014


OMGOSH, folks.  Do you feel it . . . that little chill in the air before the sun gets going every morning??  I have to toss on a light sweater or jean jacket and my grin is from ear to ear on the drive to work.  There is just something about October and early November that knocks my socks right off! 

To help celebrate the coming of fall, I updated a fun little noun freebie that has been hanging in my store for the past couple of years.  Not only was it not up to my current "design standards," but it also got rated down a few weeks ago for not having enough cards . . . #sadface.  So, in an effort to please some more folks, I reworked this puppy. 

In addition to MUCH CUTER graphics, I tossed in an EDITABLE set of cards.  Yup, if you don't like the words I chose to use with my crew, you can make your own set.  Pop on over to my TPT Shop to check it out.    It was recently featured in the TPT Newsletter . . . yippee!  It does pay to circle back around and rework those old files.  #glasshalffull  

We tried this revised ditty out with my own crew this past week and they had a ball.  They were able to successfully complete the sort independently or with limited peer support.  My partner and I were very happy teachers.  

We also used the Noun Song from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes to really bring the concept home.  The kids sing this little ditty all day long . . . it's a catchy one (you will be singing it too)!  Check out this song and other great standards-based grammar hits on Ron's Web Site :)  

Alright, so that's it today.  It's mid-week and heaven knows you have enough on your plate.  Thanks for taking the time to visit me today.  I'll see you soon. Merry chilly mornings and colorful leaves, y'all :)

October 9, 2014


So I am here today with a little Throwback post.  It highlights a mini Halloween-themed grammar pack (one that's easy on the pocketbook too).  It also offers up a fun freebie (Sketchin' Out Spooky Sentences) that has proved to be a real crowd pleaser for my classes.  


First up today, I bring you Adjective Pumpkins.  My babes completed this little craft on Friday and they were in kid heaven.  I always use this activity to fully introduce adjectives . . . otherwise known as "give me more" words!  For some reason they relate very well to this theme and are able to really "grasp" what I'm sellin' in the parts of speech department . . . thank you Halloween :)

I love the imaginations on my little babes.
The pumpkin body is priceless!!!
These are going to make the best bulletin board :)
They came up to pick out an adjective card . . . so many fun choices (above).
Each and every sweetie worked their heart out and had a blast (below).

She nailed this one! 
This doll added curly leaf hair and a bow.  So cute.  
I will follow up this week with the corresponding center activities that are also included in this pack . . . two follow up writing activities, a little adjective hunt, and a few other independent sorting activities.  With this theme they don't even notice that they are working!  BOOM :)

To learn more about this easy-prep pumpkin pack, CLICK HERE.  It's only $3.50 in my TPT store :)

Next, I bring you Sketchin' Out Spooky Sentences - FREEBIE.  This one always delights my kiddies.  I think it's the whole BREAKING the classroom writing rule of ALWAYS drafting your sentence before illustrating that draws them in right off the bat.  Yup . . . they get to sketch first.

Here's how I roll with this one.  First, stock your center with a handful of Halloween or strange/spooky directed draws.  Ed Emberly has oodles of rockin' ones to choose from (see examples below) or you can simply print out multiple free directed draws from the Internet.  

Next, the kids get a worksheet template and use the books to help them sketch out a spooky scene in one of the boxes.  When finished, they write a detailed sentence to go with their sketch.  They complete this task twice.    

Here's a photo of one of my cuties in action last year.  
Finally, the kiddies color up their masterpieces (I like colored pencils).  This assignment also always lends itself to a wonderful round of "author's chair." 

More examples from my students last year.  So silly!!!

If you are interested in trying this ditty out with your class, CLICK HERE to snag it for free in my TPT store :)

October 7, 2014


The commutative property is easy for some kiddos, but tricky for others.  This year I saw a way too much TRICKY brewing in the noggins of our babes.  After "chewing on" on this unfortunate situation for a bit, I came up with a silly little Halloween themed game to help us see "flip flop facts" in action. 

In this activity, kids manipulate a series of dominos on a game mat.  As they "drive and flip" each domino, students are presented with a powerful visual of the commutative property.

I tried this game out this week and the kids loved every minute of it (the mummy characters made one little darlin' giggle until she turned red in the face).  We aim to please in good ol' Room 13 ;)

Wait . . . let me back up a second.  I introduced the concept of "add in any order" by using human subjects.  I clustered one small group of students on the right side of the classroom carpet area.  I clustered a second small group of darlings on the left side of the classroom carpet area.  We counted the kids, wrote the corresponding equation, and solved the problem.  Then, I asked the groups to switch places.  We repeated the steps with the kiddos on different sides . . . and low and behold . . . the sums were the same!  #mathismagic 

After the whole class demonstration, our kids were put into partners.  They were given a small pile of dominos and I showed them how to "drive" their domino on their game mat.  They were all about it and most of the babes picked up the concept immediately.  It was a grand lesson for sure :)

Want to try this with your crew?  It's a freebie in my TPT Shop . . . just in time for the SPOOKY SEASON :)  If you like what you see, be sure to check out my entire math station collection HERE.  

Alright, I am off to catch some shut eye and get off this electronic box.  The doctor told me that I have to stay away from the screen for a bit.  Why you ask??  Well, I ended up with a concussion on Saturday . . . the husband was driving crazy in a golf cart during a tournament and I ended up flying out and slamming my head on the 17th fairway.  (He felt horrible even though I would have tried to do the same crazy driving if I had been behind the wheel -- that's just how we roll).  I somehow finished out the round, but I don't remember much else from that afternoon.  Needless to say, it has been a slow and hazy start to my week, but I am feeling a bit better now.  Rest was the prescription.  Sigh.  Not my area of expertise.  And, I know what a few of my friends must be thinking after reading this post . . . just what Dolling needs . . . something that makes here even more looney ;)  

Thanks so much for visiting me.  I'll catch you again soon!!!  


October 2, 2014


Um . . . excuse me??  OCTOBER!!!  How did you get here so quickly??  I think I ramble on about time flying in darn near every post, but this 30-day run seemed to pass by us in warp speed.  Well, a huge welcome to you sweet October.  I say bring on the pumpkins, costumes, scary movies, and an ungodly amount of candy corn . . . it's my absolute favorite month!!!!!  It's my birthday too (we won't mention the ripe old age I will be reaching this round.)

Speaking of a new month, I officially finished my October set of Math Station Activities, Games, & More.  As I stated last month, I am less than thrilled with our school's math program choice and we have been supplementing like crazy to make up for all the mathematical "holes" this program leaves in our kiddos' brains.  (Wow . . . that was harsh.  Sorry y'all.  However, it's so true.)

Here's the skinny on this packet.  We run math stations in the afternoon (see how my partner and I run with these HERE).  Each tub targets current and past standards.  Well, now that September is over, we needed a new collection of themed games and such.  My October Math Stations + More Packet will carry us through an entire month and will take care of most of the standards-based centers!

October's Packet covers everything from subtraction and basic missing addend to tally marks, word problems, and graphing.  It even comes with a fun little song from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes.  Oh, and the standards are conveniently located on each write up!  We aim to please around here

October Math Stations & More Includes:
Meet the Count (Counting On Game - Math.NBT.1)
Monster Comparisons (Greater/Less Than - Math.1.NBT.3)
Even & Odd March (MP3 & Lyrics - Math.2.OA.3)
That’s So Odd (Even & Odd Game - Math.2.OA.3)
Exploring Addition (Columbus Themed Addition - Math.1.OA.3 + Math.1.OA.6)
Rakin’ In The Tens (Fall Themed Addition - Math.1.OA.3 + Math.1.OA.6)
That’s Super Corny (Number Bond Game - Math.1.OA.3 + Math.1.OA.6)
Going Batty For Missing Addends (Math.1.OA.8)
Falling Into Subtraction (Math.1.OA.3 + Math.1.OA.6)
Spooktacular” Subtraction (Math.1.OA.3 + Math.1.OA.6)
The Transylvania Tally (Math.1.MD.4)
Great Graphs (Fall Flavored Bar Graphs - Math.1.MD.4 )
Draw and Solve (Word Problem Mini Book - Math.1.OA.2)

We already tried out the EXPLORING ADDITION game (whole class) and the kids loved it. They were so dialed in and everyone was helping each other.  My teacher bucket was overflowing!

I will be putting my head together with my teaching partner every month to create one of these Math Packs.  We will be utilizing them with our own babes throughout the year.  Look for the November collection to pop up at the end of this month.  

Not sure if this packet is for you and your darlings?  That's okay . . . I won't spit in your eye :)  But, how about if I offer up a little FREEBIE for you to try out? This way you can get a feel for how these games roll before you invest!  Our math program is already launching into the Commutative Property of Addition. However, they do it in a really high level way.  In my opinion, our students need to "get it" before they launch into all that tough junk and deeper thinking.  So, I created a quick little activity that helps kiddos see the commutative property in action.  On that note, I bring you . . . All Wrapped Up in Flip Flop Facts.    

CLICK HERE to snag this freebie!

Alright, my friends.  That's it in the new product department.  One more quick note before I leave.  We have been speaking of math oh so much today and there is a great professional development opportunity coming to the grand state of Texas next week.  Below are three different dates that Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes will be presenting their AMAZING session, Rock Your Math Class.  Trust me . . . you want to try and catch one of these workshops.  The TEXAS dates are outlined below - click here to learn more or to register.

Now I am out of here.  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit me today.  I put my October Math Pack on sale today and tomorrow - it's 20% off!  Big hugs my friends and MERRY OCTOBER . . . swoon :)


September 28, 2014


Well, hello!!!  It has been what seems like ages since I have been on this page of mine.  So glad to FINALLY be sittin' down for a little cyber time this evening.

I wanted to take a moment to share something that has been working in our class as of late.  So, here are a few tricks that we learned this past week when it comes to introducing tally marks.  

Let's be honest.  Tally marks can be super abstract for some babes (when to add that dang line can get confusing), but they are a powerful introduction to organizing data, counting on, and skip counting by 5s.  I guess they aren't noted as a specific common core standard, but I think tallies fit or play into a handful of different standards.  They are oh so valid to teach!

With this said, I pulled a new idea out of my bum this week that proved to be super powerful.  It all sparked from a lonely orange pool noodle that I spied hiding in the clearance bin at my local grocery store.  The notion of "HUMAN TALLY MARKS" immediately popped into my noggin.  I envisioned a knockout of a lesson that not only had the kiddos engaged and learning, but also giggling their way through our LONG afternoon math block.  Well, guess what?  It was even better than I expected!  You have to try this my friends.  

Following a pocket chart lesson introducing tally marks (complete with Let's Tally Man . . . my absolute favorite math song from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes), we ran with this whole class demonstration.  All you need is four brave kiddos and a pool noodle.  I suggest using the noodle to tap each kiddo on the head as the class counts them (it just sells the sizzle that much more).  The kids ate it up.  Oh, and immediately after this demonstration, the majority of our babes remembered how to make a group of five tally marks!  What do ya know??

As a follow up activity, my brilliant team teacher came up with the notion of making tally marks with snacks.  Um . . . hello TASTY TALLIES!  We called out numbers and the babes built them on the desk with pretzel sticks.  Next week we are going to hit tallies again with mini gummy worms . . . it just goes so nicely with Halloween.  

I made a new Tally Mark Packet to go along with teaching tallies.  Now, you SO DO NOT have to use this collection to run with tally marks and the ideas outlined above in your class.  However, if you are looking to round out your tally studies, this ditty comes with that amazing song from Ron Brown (Let's Tally Man), a handful of small group games, the pocket chart lesson we used in our classroom, and some independent practice pages.  It's only $3 (20% off today + Monday) and it's EDITABLE.  Not too shabby.  

Alright, there you be . . . a few tally mark ideas to take with you today and the presentation of a pretty fun little packet.  I am off to make dinner and catch late football game.  I won't mention my fantasy score today . . . let's just say that Foles was not the correct choice.  Dolling is officially 2-1.  **tear**  Night friends.  Talk to you soon :)

Oh, and one more thing.  A few people have asked about the collection below. The October Math Center packet is nearly finished - we're talkin' 13 activities and a fun little song too.  Look for it to pop up on Wednesday!  Sorry for the delay my friends :)


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