Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Question Linky

Linking up with Michelle at Fabulous in First

In class, we had Holiday Show and Share this week. As part of their homework the last two weeks, the kinders had to create a project...any project...with their families to tell about a holiday they celebrate with their family. It could be secular or religious. The projects were awesome. They made books using the small wallet photo albums, construction paper, a folder with wrapping paper in it and posters out of all kinds of materials. One boy made a mobile (talk about hard to hang up). It was great to see the creativity and hear how they worked with their family to create it. As each of them showed and shared...they had to explain and answer questions. The audience had to think of compliments and questions. Since most of my class celebrates Christmas, many of the projects were on Christmas. With some very specific teacher guided questions, we saw how even when we celebrate the same holiday we can do it in different ways...which just makes us special. We hit Common Core listening and Speaking and lots of PYP attitudes and attributes like tolerance and respect.
It made me even more interested to read everyone's answers to these questions. Thanks Michelle for hosting.

Hot Chocolate or Eggnog? 
Hot chocolate. I like a little peppermint thrown in mine. : )
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
When I was growing up, my mom wrapped each gift from parents and Santa. She loved to write clues on them and make them from literary characters as well. She saws I pointed out the wrapping paper so I wrap my own kids and Santa has a different wrapping paper. I even wrap little things in the stocking so it takes longer. hehe.
Colored lights or white? 
We have colored and white lights. I'm not picky at all. My childhood tree has hand-made ornaments including hand-me down ones from fabric. In her later years, my grandma had her tree professionally styled in coordinating colors and I inherited a lot of pink and gold ornaments.

When do you decorate? 
Growing up, we chopped a tree after my birthday. My husband would put it up before Thanksgiving. This year, the kittens took the tree out so we may end up with a live tree soon. We got a fake one because we put it in a bay window so it needs to be short.
Real or Fake Tree? 
So I jumped ahead on this one.

What Tops Your Tree?
Our tree often runs out of room but I love having an angel on the top of the tree.

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
We always travel to see the drive-thru lights display. It was a favorite of mine growing up. I even make my husband drive so I see better. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, my kids start asking to see them.
Do you remember your favorite gift as a child? 
When I was very little, I asked for my own kitchen. My parents got me a wooden one that I loved.
Do prefer giving or receiving? 
Giving! I love to leave little gifts for my co-workers and family all year when I can afford it. I've been leaving a little item for my own kids each week this month just to see their surprise.

What is your favorite Christmas song? 
Do You Hear What I Hear? It was on the radio the other weekend when we left on a trip and when we arrived home.
Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum? 
LOVE peppermint! Of course in my old age, I like the soft peppermints more than a big candy cane.

 Favorite Christmas Movie? 
I totally watch Hallmark channel all month long. There are a few of those I love.

Do you shop online or at stores?

Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
Totally forget every year to mail them but the kids make some for Church and family to hand out.
Wow. This is a long post. Lots of sharing,
Don't forget today is the last day for the giveaway.
You still have until Dec 25th for the gift with purchase offer in my TPT store. I haven't decided on the freebie yet but it'll be something good. Taking suggestions :)
With thanks to everyone who purchases from my store, I am offering a gift with purchase this month. Just follow these steps.1. Purchase at least $4 in products from my TPT store from December 1st to December 25th (can be a combination of items and dates).
2. Email me at with your TPT username and the date or dates of purchase by January 6th.
After verifying your purchases, I will email you a special free thank you item not currently available in my store. My emails with your gift will go out after the 25th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Cover It

We had a snow day today.
So I finished and posted to TPT this unit. If you downloaded Monday's freebie & liked it, you'll love this.

Winter Fun
Snow Balls
Cookies & Gingerbread
Arctic Animals
Chinese New Year
Dental Health
Valentine’s Day
Each theme includes both color and black/white outline versions.
Use one mat for everyone; differentiate by using different keys for die roll. Keys include: die faces, numerals 1-6, add 2 dice, double, add ten, subtract from ten; some sets also include number words, add on, 1 less, 1 more, 2 more and multiplication
My own children played the Cookies version. After we played & I left them with the game board, keys and variety of covers, I heard them explaining the directions to each other. : )


Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Christmas Freebie

As promised, I have a Christmas freebie for you today - bring your own dice style.
I've been designing roll and covers in a new style. You have one board for roll and cover (or to play bump). Instead of changing the die or adding a spinner, there is a key. Each child in a game can use the same key or differentiate. Do you have a student who needs to match the dots on a die to the numeral and another who is practicing adding working at the same center? They can work together with the same board.
Linking up with

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Don't forget to check out the freebies from the last few days, the rafflecopter and the gift with purchase TPT offer.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Five for Friday and TPT Gift

Five for Friday Saturday
1.This week we talked about Transportation around the world! We read the book On The Go from our reading program and explored Google Earth to find the different places. We read in online databases about different environments and matched different types of transportation to the environments best suited.  Our favorite mode...rickshaws and snowshoes. We looked through pictures from around the world of all kinds of rickshaws.
2. We used my Let's Go Mini-Readers and writing in small group. We put dots under the picture words and underlined the verbs. We talked about vowels as we introduced up and down. The kinders love to be able to write in their readers and to take them home to read and bring back.
3. As part of our writing this week, the kinders had to select 3 modes of transportation to add to their picture and write at least three sentences. They were really interested in this writing assignment. We conferenced on using different types of sentence structure. My class loves to write questions and answer them.

4. It is my birthday. (You might have seen the sale and rafflecopter.) I got to attend a wreath making seminar without the kids and to take the kids to a make a craft session. I love the table piece I made it good. All three kids loved trying their hands at different crafts and made fast friends with the ladies running the craft tables. My son used washable paints and markers to paint a train engine for his grandpa's Christmas display. My 2 year old wore the mini wreath she made as a necklace and my eldest designed a basket.

5. As a thank you to those who purchase my products, I am offering a gift with purchase to every one who purchases at least $4 from my store from December 1 to 25th and emails me at with their TPT username and dates of purchase by January 6th. It will be a new item that is not currently in my TPT store and will not be sent out until after December 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birthday Sale!

For My Birthday,

To celebrate, I am taking my wonderful children out for some Christmas fun (before the ice storm comes tomorrow). I am leaving my TPT store on sale 20% until Monday.
I've a freebie planned for Monday - dice required. (Don't forget Friday's freebie either.) has been a long time since I held a giveaway. One winner will get any item or combination of items up to $10. Two winners will get any item up to $5. Easy rafflecopter entries - do as many as you like. I'm excited to hear in the comments about everyone's traditions for their birthdays or those of their children.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Little Reindeer Friday Freebie

Do you have a story you love to read this time of year? I have a ton. I love to read The Little Reindeer.
If you have read this story, you know the pictures are amazing for teaching perspective and writing. The little reindeer is dropped on the boy's rooftop in the city where he cares for him and they fly over the city. My favorite part is the boy feeding the reindeer. I have had my students draw and write in response to the story in past years and it is always a great activity. This year, I made a cut and paste sentence page. When I give my students the cut and paste. They sequence the given sentence but write one of their own related to the sentence they sequence.
Click here to download the 2page freebie from google docs. If you like the format, check out my recent TPT items Let's GO mini-readers and We Snow Love to Read and Write.
Linking up with TBA. and with Paula's Place for her Storybook Saturday.
Have a great weekend.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Currently & freebie

Linking up with Farley.

I love December (and it isn't because it is my birthday month). I get such a warm feeling - all the holidays and the possibility of snow. The smell of crisp fresh air (and snow) and all the smells of the season (hot chocolate, peppermint, cinnamon...). Advent and Christmas lights. I listen to or watch the holidays movies all month long. I have great children and we try to have our own family traditions. My son is asking tons of questions tonight about how other people celebrate and putting all the Santa movies together. My favorite tradition growing up was the big family dinner with all my cousins. The day after Christmas, we'd drive up to my grandparents and see everyone. My kids don't have all the cousins but they do love to bake cookies so that is a tradition for our family now.
I just made a limited time freebie for all of you - an 18 page emergent predictable mini-reader (okay it took forever to get formatted and trial printing but its done). Print it 2 sided. It goes over events at both a family's house and the North Pole with the focus word "put" for beginning readers. My daughter helped finalize the order of the pages.
It uses Kari Bolt's graphics just like the Snow Reader. I was lucky to win that set of graphics from Kari. She is great to work with. Of course, with the TPT sale, I picked up another set of hers with children playing in the snow. So I am excited to work with those graphics.
I also updated the Let's Go mini-reader sets - adding two more complex mini-readers. I've been creating mini-readers to save paper this year and I haven't organized them for TPT yet. I was excited to hear at conferences from parents how their children were rereading the booklets at home and how they were more excited to read and write! I am a big believer in b/w readers because the kinders get to write on them & reread them at home.
Don't forget the freebie from Friday.
And don't forget the code Cyber when checking out at TPT (yep...I did.) A little reminder from another graphic artist I love.
Happy Cyber Monday Eve! Stock up on clipart for ALL seasons during this awesome sale! My entire store will be 20% off for Monday and Tuesday and then you can use the promo code CYBER to get an additional 10% off. It comes out to 28% off the regular price! Whoop whoop! 

How do you get ready for such a HUGE sale?! 1.) Fill up your wish list/cart so you don't miss out on any of your favorite products! 2.) Go through your previous purchases and make sure you left feedback! You can use those points towards your purchase and get an even BETTER deal :) 3.) Sit back and wait for tomorrow :) 

Feel free to snatch up my sale button if you are putting your store on sale Monday and Tuesday, too :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

We Snow Love to Read and Write

I am loving the Snow set from Kari Bolt. Here is the picture of the set from her Facebook page. Aren't they adorable?

I started to make some mini-readers with writing pages and it "snowballed". I couldn't decide how to break it up or when to stop. : ) It is going to be listed on TPT for $4 but is just $2 for today Nov 29th! (The rest of my store is 20% off today.) Here is a preview of some things included.

It includes Writing Centers: Sentences for the students to sequence and copy (each sentence has a different picture); Individual cards to create their own sentences with picture cards (can also be used for a Write the Room) &  Variety of worksheets to sequence the sentence, write their own and illustrate (match the readers, too); Pocket Chart center with sentences to match pictures to. Follow-up includes making lift-the-flap writing.
Mini-readers include: We Make It From Snow; Do We Have a Snowman? & The Snowball Fight
Perhaps my favorite is for a Writing lesson. There are a variety of formats for students to make a foldable with their own story about a snowball fight or use it to cut and paste in a story.

Hope you are excited about it as I am!

As a little freebie - 2 Calendar Pieces Sets - Santa and Elves and International Christmas. Both sets use graphics from Kari Bolt as well. : )

I printed and put the International Christmas pieces in my pocket chart at school before the Thanksgiving Day break just to see and it looks great. It goes with our international mindedness as well. I'm excited to see the kids reactions.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving
Wishing you a peaceful day full of family and friends!
I am blessed to spend mine with my wonderful 3 children and husband and to have other family to visit.
In TPT news, I added a new Holidays themed set with tons of pieces for use with short vowels. It is mostly first grade review but works with extending kindergarten skills. I am almost finished activities for Snow Reading and Writing. I have to decide how much and how many variations to include but I am loving the unit and its graphics by Kari Bolt (just like the ones above). My TPT store is on sale for Black Friday 20% off and then it will be 20% on Dec 2 & 3 for Cyber Monday sale. You get 28% off when you combine the 20% off with the TPT code: cyber.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Five for Friday Turkey & Education Week

I am sadly missing pictures but here is an update on our week.

1. We researched Turkeys! We used multiple sources to gather information on wild turkeys. PebbleGo the database (I love that our school has a subscription) & Scholastic Let's Find Out were our main sources. When we were working on recording the sources on our class tree map, one of my students pointed out that we should write videos because both the magazine online and the database had videos of wild turkeys. What was the big question they wanted answered...Do turkeys climb or fly to get in the trees to sleep? So our research went on...
This book was in our library center this month and what does the turkey tell us but that yes he can fly. So I offered the students another source (we hadn't talked about)...interview. They interviewed me. Yes, I have seen wild turkeys and was able to add more information. This class kept adding branches to their tree map - Turkeys...can, are, have, live, eat - as we learned more and more.
It was a great tie into comparing bats and birds last month as we read Stellaluna.
2. Turkeys continued as a focus when we read A Turkey for Thanksgiving
We sequenced the animals from the story onto a turkey hat...imagine the picture of the great hat here. Turkey's head in the front and tail feathers around the back of each child's head with the story sequenced on it. They loved retelling this story.
3. Speaking of sequencing, we read Our Special Sweet Potato Pie
from our reading series - which is a fun fantasy tale. We also predicted and discussed family meals.
4. A little Math update in the middle of all this literature....
One of our warm-ups this week: draw me at least 2 shapes that together have 7 vertices. A challenging question that the students took on as a challenge. They worked to find all kinds of combinations (triangle and...square, rhombus, trapezoid, rectangle). They ruled out using the hexagon because there aren't 1 sided shapes. It became a great lesson.

5. We had guest readers this week. In honor of American Education Week, our kindergarten invited members of our Board of Ed to come read to our classes. We have 6 classes so they read to 3 classes at a time. : ) We have a very large school district and thought most people would be booked already. What a nice surprise to find 5 that wanted to read to us! We also had guest reading from our principal, financial secretary, and the college age niece of one of our teachers. My team picked great books and some of our guests brought their own. Our guest reader books tied into our PYP attitudes and attributes and our transportation theme including: Hooray for Diffendoofer Day, Oh the Places You'll Go 
Daredevil   Rosie Revere Engineer   Balloons Over Braodway

Friday, November 15, 2013

Busy, Busy...Freebie Reader

It is me! I am stopping in to say hi and drop off a freebie reader. I Have, I Can Stamp It! Reader.

I have been making mini readers for my class recently and they love marking up their readers and coloring them in. Right now, they are just for my class and mostly Fall themed. Hopefully, I will get them finalized and TPT ready to share with you all. For now, I have a different kind of reader for you!
One of my favorite rotations for Stamp Center is Stamp It books. I change my centers out every 6 days and alternate the types of activities. I needed one for HAVE and Kari Bolt's Action ClipArt set met that need. You pick the pages you like and print 2 per page. The students stamp the letters for the word have. Differentiate by having students look for other focus words, initial sounds of the picture words, answer the question, or use other materials (ie smelly markers). A writing extension (which I seem to have at every center) includes creating their own page.

Linking up with Freebie sites.

Freebie Fridays

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Currently November & Facebook Freebie on the First

Linking up with Farley's Currently for November.
And a new November Facebook Freebie - Calendar Cards in ABB (then and now) and ABC Pilgrim and Native American Friends. Just hop on over to my facebook page to snag it. Here's a peek.

Last weekend, in the midst of our anniversary and my son's birthday, our outdoor cat (who was left with us when friends moved out of state long ago) wanted to come inside and not go out. After she passed, my husband took her to animal control while I was at work. He and the 2 year old came home with a kitten. Of course, the kitten had a brother in the same cage so now we have 2 who we are keeping indoors. Our dog Fred (a Chihuahua/Maltese mix) was super excited for play mates and the one cat thinks he can wrestle with the dog already. They look to be an interesting mix.

My 2yr old for trying to brush the kittens teeth with a spare toothbrush, my son for not wanting the dog to feel the kittens are more important, my daughter for wanting to trick or treat as her brother's twin Iron Man. Here is where I wish I could sew and had the time. My son picked out a hand-me-down Iron Man costume (not that he knows who he is) but the mask was broken and it was a little tight. So we searched and found one on sale from the 3rd movie that fit a little better. My daughter, who wore a cheerleader outfit to school, decided to wear the hand-me-down to be her brother's twin.

Sweet Pin
Shhhhh! I am just not a pinterest gal. I admit it. Right now, I spend so much spare time on the computer doing school work that my spare computer time is reading blogs. Another secret...baking in my house almost never happens - we are lucky to have dinner.  However, for Currently, I went on and looked up Pumpkin. I found these. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. Two of my favorite things. I am going to have to try the recipe on Thanksgiving Break. Link is in the picture.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

 *****Did you see the giveaway for Sara's 1 year Blogiversary at Polka Dot Kinders?
Four 4 Great Giveaways to enter!

Polka Dot Kinders

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trick or Treat and a freebie

It is getting close to that time of year!

I added a few new items to my TPT store and a freebie.
Trick or Treat Write the Math Room with a bonus treat Bump games.
Write the Math Room - 3 Versions (count the objects, ten frames and dominoes) with recording sheets
BUMP! - 4 versions (1 die, add 2 dice, add 10 to the die & 6 to 10) in both costumes and candy designs

We are also loving our Candy Corn First Sound Sorts. I printed mine half size to sort into smaller containers and on our pocket chart.

I have been making a mini-reader for my class recently. You print the 2 pages back to back, cut the page in half horizontally, stack the pages, fold and staple. The students trace certain focus words, look at beginning sounds and discuss the pictures. Here is a Trick or Treat one FREE for you.
Have a great week.
Linking up with
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Candy Corn Sound Sorts & TPT Sale

Did you know TPT is having a sale to celebrate followers on Facebook? Use coupon code FB100K for an additional 10% off. What a day for my internet to be down, right?
It is "working" (knocking on wood now) so my store is on sale and my newest product is also up - Candy Corn Sorts. If you liked the turkey feather freebie from Friday, you'll love this one.

I've been creating things recently for use in my classroom and with my kids but not whole units. It has been a busy year. Not to mention World's biggest fieldtrip coming up this week and a cold that won't quit. I put together this unit to cover some of the most popular sounds from the beginning of the year. Each sound sort has between 8 and 24 cards. Candy corn pieces can be printed full size or 2 per sheet. Sounds included - /s/ /p/ /k/ /b/ /f/ /t/ /n/ /m/
Differentiate by using just initial sounds or just final sounds or a mix of both. Cards are organized by sounds so you print what you want. The pictures are blackline on colored candy corn to save on colored ink.
Customize by how you play the game. You can use mats or attached mats to a bag as a goody bag or use another sorting container (I'm sure no one has as many little pumpkin containers as me : ). You can even use the pieces by themselves. My son is working on /s/ sounds in speech class so I'm just using /s/ and s-blends with him. We are practicing stretching the words like ghosts on our turns.
Ways to Play: Search for a Sound: Lay candy corn upside down. Players each take a mat with a focus sound. Players take turns turning over a card and saying the name of the picture - stretching it like a ghost. If it matches their mat, they keep it.
Sort the Sounds: Lay out candy corn upside down. Make “goody bags” with different focus sounds. Set up the bags in a row. Each player takes a turn turning over a card, saying the name of the picture (stretching the sound like a ghost), and putting it in the correct bag.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Turkey Feather Sounds Freebie

Here is a little freebie using Creative Clips' Gobble Gobble set. Players match the feather with the picture to the correct turkey. You can use the color version or the black and white version. Long ago, I made a set with feathers made out of construction paper and peanut shaped turkey bodies. It was time to switch to clipart. : ) You can also have the students cut and paste the blackline versions and glue in a notebook or on paper. This freebie is just /s/ and /p/ for the sounds we are working on in kindergarten right now. My son is working on /s/ for his Speech homework so this is a fun way for him to practice. I hope some of you can use it! (and that I have more time soon to make some bigger units for sale).

Have a great day!

Linking up with
Freebie Fridays

Monday, September 30, 2013

Freebie Halloween Calendar

I am joining up with Manic Monday Freebies.
Since it is almost the first of October, here are some free calendar pieces with a Halloween theme.
     Don't forget to check out last Friday's feelings freebie. This is our apple week and we have been working on a number book (I may even have pictures on Friday!)
Get your freebie here.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday