Smile! It's a Teachers Pay Teachers SALE!

Just wanted to get the word out... there is a big sale happening at Teachers Pay Teachers this Monday Nov. 30th and Tuesday Dec. 1st.  You can save 28% on everything in my store.  Make sure you use the promo code: smile at checkout to get your extra 10% discount.

I am going to stock up on some wonderful things on my wish list!

I also wanted to let you know that I just finished two new products you might want to check out since they will be 28% off.

This is a great set of activities and printable practice pages to go with your gingerbread unit this December.  It has all the things I want for my own classroom along with a few others I thought might be helpful to you.  It's a really sweet set.  (No pun intended ;)  You can grab it by clicking on the image below or this link right here: Print and Go! Gingerbread

You may also want to see this helpful pack as well.  It is great counting and numeral writing review for throughout the year.  I love this activity because it is open ended and kids can challenge themselves.  It incorporates doing a detailed drawing, counting and numeral writing, and labeling parts of the picture.  I am going to keep these handy this year when I think we need some review or I need something quick in an emergency or for a sub.

This one is from earlier in the year before we learned how to label things in our drawings.

This one is from a lesson where students learned how to label.
Both activities went really well and I think this helps my students remember to include lots of details in their drawings.  You can take a closer look at this product by clicking here; Draw, Count, Write!  or clicking on the image below:

I hope you get some good deals on CYBER Monday!
Happy shopping!
Happy teaching!

Happy Thanksgiving!

OK, so I thought October went by fast.  But, November has gone by even faster.  I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week.  I am thankful for so many things right now.  I am thankful that my parent teacher conference week went well and is now over.  I am thankful for ten hours of sleep last night.  (Should I be embarrassed about that?)  I am thankful that my mom is doing OK after her surgery.  I am thankful for the online teaching community and Teachers Pay Teachers!  I am thankful that I still love my job after 17 years and I get to work with some of the most amazing people in the world...  the five year old people in my class.  Life is good.

I am especially thankful for helpful fall resources for my classroom.  This Print and Go! Apples, Pumpkins, and Leaves is a great set of NO PREP printables that can take you from September to November in kindergarten.  I use it for independent practice, formative assessment, and homework.  This set also has a page that I use soooooooo much throughout the year.  It's a sweet recording sheet for addition with dominoes.  It's perfect for little learners!  You will have to go take a look at the product in my store to go check it out...

Here are a few of the time saving pages in this product:

Here is an example of student work using one of the pages.  You can go take a look at this helpful resource by clicking on this  link: Print and Go! Apples, Pumpkins, and Leaves or click on the image below.

I am also really excited because my Print & Go! Thanksgiving FREEBIE made it into the TpT newsletter this week.  Woo hoo!  If you haven't downloaded this yet, go grab it.  You can get it by clicking on the link above or the images below.

It has four pages of black and white printable activities for your K-1 kiddos.  There are two activities that are great for addition or decomposing numbers to ten.  It also has a sentence scramble and a writing sheet with an "I'm thankful for..." list.  The lists are half pages with two on the master.  It looks like this when you cut the pages in half:

Here is another one:

Those were written by kindergarten kids in November.  You can see they are working on stretching out words and writing the corresponding sounds.  This is great practice and I think they are doing really well so far.  I think the little darling above copied Leaves from a book cover - what a smartie!    You will often see things from nature on my students' thankful lists because I always read this book to them before we start.


Giving Thanks is a wonderful book if you are studying Native Americans or teaching about the first Thanksgiving in your classroom.  It is a message of gratitude written by Chief Jake Swamp and illustrated by a Native American artist, Erwin Printup Jr.  I will be honest, it is written like a prayer, but because it is from the Native American cultural perspective, it is OK to read in public school classrooms.  It is a great book for that reason when it is presented in the context of the studies I mentioned above.  It is a really beautiful message.

Those thankful lists were on a bulletin board that looked like this:

The Indian corn art was done with cotton swabs dipped in brown, yellow, orange, and red paints.  Then the kiddos attached the corn husks to make them look like Indian corn.  I had drawn out the cob shaped templates and made copies on card stock.  It was a successful little fall art project.  Here are a couple of them up close:

We also made turkeys from toilet paper rolls.  I am always looking for ways to up cycle tp rolls.  I wish I could use all the rolls we use in my household for art projects, but it is an uphill battle.  We use a lot of toilet paper and there are only so many art projects we can do in a school year.  But, these little turkeys were pretty darn cute!

First my little students painted a peice of thick paper with fall colors in whatever pattern or design they liked.  Then they traced both hands and cut them out.  Last, they glued on eyes, nose, and tissue paper waddle along with the hands on the tp roll.  Tadaaa!  Fun little turkeys for a Thanksgiving decoration at home.  We made those turkeys last year.

So I used the idea again for a variation on the theme this year.  For these turkeys on our November calendars, I used our Ellison die cut machine to make colorful leaves and the kiddos used them as tail feathers.  We used tp rolls again for the turkey body and students used markers to draw the eyes, beaks, and legs.  It was a simple and easy project for the calendars.  You can grab my Calendars for Number Writing in my TpT store by clicking on the link or the image above. 

We have also been learning about setting, characters, and beginning, middle,  and end of a story for retelling.  We used my favorite book for fall.  I have posted about it before, because it is absolutely adorable!!!


Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson is a must for your K-1 library if you don't already have it.  You can go grab it at Amazon by clicking on the image above.  (If you buy it, I will get a teeny tiny bit of $ from them for going through my blog -thanks!)  That is true for any of the book covers on this post.  You can go get them with a click and if you do, thank YOU!

This is an example of how my kids do the beginning, middle, end re-telling in my classroom.

I take 12 X 18" drawing paper and cut it in half to 6 X 18".  Then I fold it in thirds and write beginning, middle, end on the corresponding sections.  It doesn't take long at all to prep that.  After reading and talking about the story, the kids draw pictures illustrating each part.  Then I take the dictation about what was happening in each part.   It works great for kindergarten kids.  When the activity is more about ideas, I use dictation, rather than writing, as a way for the kiddos to express themselves.  

Here are a few more books I LOVE to read this time of year with my class:


In November By Cynthia Rylant is beautifully written with rich language and images.  It is a classic!


Alligator Arrived with Apples - A Potluck Alphabet Feast is another great book for Thanksgiving time.  The creative use of alliteration will tickle your students ears.  There are lots of unusual foods to discuss as well.  It is also a classic and continues to be one of my favorites.


When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass is a wonderful book for studies about the season of fall.  It helps give kids lots of seasonal indicators other than leaves turning color and falling off trees.  It is a helpful book to use for answering the essential question "How do we know it's Fall?"

And this is another helpful resource for November in kindergarten or even older grades too...

Kids can answer that question...  How do you know it's Fall?,  they can start a gratitude journal, and write about so much more in this fun fall writing pack.  You can find it right here:  November Writing Activities - Pretty Papers and Prompts

I hope you have a well deserved Thanksgiving break.  Enjoy this special holiday with your family and friends.  May you have many gifts to be thankful for this season.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy teaching!

Happy Halloween!

October has gone by so fast.  Has it been the busiest October ever for you too?  Wow!  And now it's almost over.   Ok, this little set of cards isn't related to Halloween, but I am so happy with how they came out.  They were a rush job last week to get them ready for Monday's math lesson.

I started the week using these Number Tower Cards for a math game with my kiddos.  We are working on the concepts of number order, and more. less, equal with numbers 0-10.    The kids played a game as partners where they had to order the cards first and then take turns closing eyes while the other student removed two cards.  The student with closed eyes then had to guess which two numbers were missing.  They really had fun with it.  Both parts of the activity were fantastic!  I love these cards because the visual representation of the numbers "growing" really helps students conceptualize how numbers work.  You can grab these cards for your class by clicking on the link or image above.

We have also been doing some pumpkin studies in class and my kiddos made these sweet pumpkin  life cycle projects.  We only had a small bulletin board space for them, so they are packed in.  It looks like a little pumpkin patch.  They made these as an independent center activity over four days. 

Here are the four stages up close:

I just love kindergarten art work!  They did a great job with this craftivity!  It was super easy!  I just cut white 12 x 18 paper in half hot dog style.  Then I folded each into four equal sections.  We started with the papers folded shut with student's name on the first section that they needed to use.  Each day, I unfolded the paper to show the following section where the kids would do the  next stage.  Nobody got mixed up! It worked great!

These haunted, or spooky, shape houses were another project my kiddos did in October.  They are up in our classroom to help decorate for Halloween.  They are a part of my new project based homework this year.  Let me know what you think!  I have gotten some nice feedback from parents.  I would love to know what some other teachers think too.

The kiddos had to draw out the design to support creative thinking.

They also had to use a recording sheet to count how many of each shape was used in the final design as well as how many shapes were used altogether.

These are not available in a product yet.  I am creating it and piloting it this year as we go along.  If you love it, let me know and I will try to share my Project Based Homework as a product for next school year.

I had fun decorating the classroom this year for Halloween.  I use these cute hanging thinga majigs and a big Happy Halloween sign on the line across my classroom.  The ghost at the top of the blog post is another decoration in this set.  They are too cute to be scary, so they are perfect for kindergarten kids.  I have had these for years!  I am pretty sure they were Hallmark decorations and it was money well spent.  They were built to last.  I also put up all the haunted houses the kiddos made and it was perfect!

This is the treat I gave to my sweet students this year.

Silly scarecrow stuffies!  Yay!  I wanted something that wasn't food.  I wanted something that I didn't need to wrap or spend much time on.  And... the kiddos had so much fun acting out The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything By Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd, that I thought these little scarecrows were perfect!  I hope they have fun with them.  Thanks, Oriental Trading Co.  It was a money vs. time decision.  Time always wins out for me, so it was money well spent.

This is that book I mentioned above.  I read it every Halloween.

These are some others I really love for pumpkins and Halloween time:


A story about the little bat with a big idea who helped the witch just in time for her Halloween party. 


This is an adorable tale about three friends who realize their friendship is more important than how they make the pumpkin soup each day.   I used this story to introduce the concept of characters to my kiddos. 

This story is about a young boy who loves his jack-o-lantern and how a pumpkin plant sprouts back from what was left of it in the garden.  Great story that incorporates the fun of Halloween with the elements of growing pumpkin plants.  It is a must have if you are doing a pumpkin unit.


This is my absolute favorite book for a pumpkin unit!  The photos are gorgeous and it is truly written as poetry.  It gives students the opportunity to ask and answer questions as well as infer meaning because of the rich vocabulary and use of literary devices.  You will LOVE this quality piece of children's nonfiction.  Perfect for pumpkin life cycle studies!

I hope you had a super fun day with your kiddos in class for Halloween!  My day went really well.  I am glad because it was a big week.  We had the full moon, a field trip, and Halloween all in one week... Yikes!  But this great little class really stepped it up.  They did a fantastic job on our field trip and a good job on our Halloween day too.  I am so proud of them!

If you are looking for a great resource to help your October and especially Halloween week, go smoothly, you should really check out my Print and Go! Halloween pack.  It has a variety of interactive NO PREP math and literacy pages that are perfect for October in kindergarten.  You can look at it by clicking on the link above or the image below.

Happy Halloween!
Happy teaching!