Teachers love Tieks GIVEAWAY! Yay!

I am thrilled to team up with some great teachers to bring you this BIG giveaway today.  You can enter to win a FREE pair of Tieks! (A $200 gift card that will get you a pair)  This event runs through February 16th.

I just ordered my first pair of Tieks.  My mom gave them to me for Christmas and I am so happy to finally have a pair.  I have really tried to change my buying habits lately.  Less is more.  You get what you pay for.  I would rather have fewer choices in my closet so that everything can be high quality classics that I wear for years.  Tieks are definitely quality. 

Ok, so here is the boring part.  I got black ones.  I know... so incredibly boring and predictable.  True.  But I actually DID NOT have a pair of black flats in my current wardrobe.  Plus, I figure black ones will be easy to polish and keep looking nice for years to come. 

So, here is your chance to try a pair for yourself.  Which color will you choose?

You can enter to win those Tieks right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!
Thanks for stopping by!

Will you be my VALENTINE?

Valentine's Day is a fun, exciting, and sweet holiday in the classroom!  I have some ideas and a FREEBIE to help you have a great day with your kiddos.  This Love Bug bag is a quick easy project that kids can do independently.  I used Ellison die cuts in heart and circle shapes in lots of different colors.  Kids glued them onto the bag and added details with googly eyes, oil pastels, and stickers.  I buy these bags each year at my local craft store.  I consider them an investment for a smooth day at school.  They are big enough, sturdy enough, and EASY!  If it saves me time, it is usually worth the money. 

We are working on number bonds in the classroom.  When you do math on or around Valentine's Day, make it fun!  I used more heart die cuts and some washi tape to make some number bond mats for hands-on problem solving.  We used fun heart erasers too.  Here are a few ideas of ways to use them.

We are learning to use number bonds for the first time.  It is a great graphic organizer for numbers and math.  Above is how we used them with objects only to show the two parts making the whole number and visa versa.

This is a another way to use number bonds to compose/decompose numbers.

After kids have enough hands on experience with the concept, they can transfer this knowledge to the abstract using only numerals to show the relationship.  Using number bonds helps give a strong visual reference for the number concepts students are learning.   With young students, it is crucial to have the hands on along with the abstract.  Don't skip the manipulatives!  Some kids really need them to "get it".

Here are my kids using the heart number bonds to decompose 7 hands on and the partner is writing it with numerals on a dry erase number bond.  They make it one way and then trade jobs to make it another.  Kids keep switching until they have done it all 4 ways.  Yay!

Are you working on number bonds in your classroom?  You might want to check out this product - It's my Memorable Math Number Bonds, Addition, Subtraction. It's an absolute life saver in my classroom.  I made it to help my students with these big concepts and I hope it helps your students too.  Here's a peek:

This also helps make Valentine week go smoothly.  It's my Print and Go! Valentines pack.
Here's a peek:

Great books are a must have in the classroom.  These books all have affiliate links to Amazon so you can grab them for your classroom too.  Here are some of my favorites for Valentine's Day:

This book is so adorable!  My kids LOVE it and it has a sweet message about fitting in and the need to be loved unconditionally exactly how we are.

This is a fun sequel to Love Monster.  It is about being kind and generous to your friends and doing the right thing even when it's hard. 

This is a sweet story about a lovable dog who wants nothing more than to be loved by the people in her life.  She makes mistakes, though... just like kindergarten kids, but her owners love her anyway.  A good story for kids who may make mistakes now and again.

This book also addresses the idea that love is big enough to forgive every day mistakes.  My kids love the dinosaur books.  This is a sweet one.

This is an oldie but goodie!  Such a sweet simple story about collecting hearts when they rained and using them to make valentines.  There are so many fun ways to extend this story and inspire kids for creative projects and imaginative writing.

Just one more thing...

I am PROUD to teach in a public school. My school is a model for how public education should look.  The community and the school work together to make our school great.  I feel well supported and have the tools I need in my classroom.  Teachers work hard to do great things in the classroom, and parents work hard to raise money for the extra programs we want to provide to our students.

The image and hashtag above were going around on social media the day Betsy DeVos was approved as Secretary of Education.  You can see my post here on Instagram.  Many teachers were sad and frustrated by this choice.  I believe the secretary of Ed. should want to work within the system to improve it, not undermine it.  DeVos is not a supporter of public education.  She is one of a small group in our country who support ideas that would minimize public education.  This is a VERY dangerous proposition.  Just think about it...  who would benefit from an uneducated electorate?

There is a reason that most folks in our country value a free education for all children.  We need educated independent thinkers to question authority and hold those in power accountable for their actions.  Our country was founded on these values and I will speak out to preserve free education for all.

I know that many public schools are in desperate need of repair and reform.  The larger social issues that impact education are complex and will require hard work and creative solutions to overcome.  Teachers are an amazing, resilient, and talented group of professionals.  I have HOPE that we can work together  to improve public education for the future of our children and our country.

Oh my goodness!  I just had to get that out there and even though I don't want my blog or business to be political...  I just can't sit by and say nothing.  This is the one place I have a voice and an audience, so THANK YOU for reading my little rant. 

Ok, you came here to grab a freebie...
The truth is I am all about spreading the LOVE.  I hope you will be my valentine even when I feel the need to speak MY truth.  I also hope this helps you spread the LOVE in your classroom.  Just click on the image or link below to go grab your freebie:

This is a simple printable and it makes a great independent art project for your kiddos.  The week before Valentines day, we had an emergency school closure due to a storm, and I had half my class out absent on another day.  So, I needed something quick and easy for family valentine cards!  I printed these on card stock.  Kids wrote a message to families on the back and then glued ripped construction paper inside the heart to decorate.  This idea is not new... just my take on it. 

The freebie also has two cute valentines you can use to give to your students.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy teaching!

Share the love

I am so happy to be blogging with my #kinderfriends this week.  We are sharing the love by donating 10% of our TpT sales from February 10-14th to a favorite charity.  Yay!  Our world NEEDS more love and kindness right now.  So, this makes my heart very happy. Some of us are giving you a FREEBIE too!  Keep reading so you can grab one from me.

This is a fun idea for your classroom that can also help spread the LOVE.  I did this a few years ago with a class that really needed some support to be kind and helpful with each other.  It is an acts of kindness project that I connected with our 100th day of school.  The challenge was for kids in the class to do 100 acts of kindness before we reached the 100th day of school.  We punched out 100 heart die cuts on our Ellison machine at school.  Then we wrote down the name of each child and the kind act as they reported to us.  You can also have the kids do the writing, especially for firsties.  They were so proud of these accomplishments through the process of filling the board.

Water.org is the charity to which I will donate for this event.  You can make a donation yourself by clicking on the link above or you can buy something from my TpT store and I will donate 10% of the sale price.  This event lasts from Feb. 10th -14th 2017.  I first heard about this charity about five years ago when I saw a bit on TV about it.  Matt Damon was lending his celebrity to shed light on this important issue.  I was shocked to hear the stories about how many people do not have running water and the impact it has in daily life.  I honestly feel that running water and sanitation should be rights of all people.  I also know how much this impacts public health for communities.  One thing I really love about Water.org is that they work with folks in each community to find unique and sustainable solutions that help them solve the water problems they face.  I will donate to this charity annually until this problem no longer exists.

Are you doing your measurement unit right now?  I want to share the love by showing you something I made for MY classroom.  I think it will be very helpful now and for the rest of your school year.  I made this pack of common core aligned measurement activities to help our little students with this important topic.  My kids are loving measurement!  And I am am loving that I have this EASY PREP pack to pull from anytime we need a little hands-on review.  I have a bag of classroom objects for measurement in my cupboard ready to go anytime we need them.  Then I just print and go for measurement math fun.  Here is a little peek:

You can grab it right here: Measurement Activities ~ Memorable Math EASY PREP

OK, lets get back to love and kindness and you can grab that FREEBIE!

This is a chart I made with my class earlier this year.  We were learning about friendship and being kind in the classroom at the beginning of the year.  After we did this, the kids got to draw a picture with their own idea of how to be a good friend.  This was early in the year, so I took dictations for students.  Here are a couple of adorable examples:

I just LOVE the drawings on both of these pages.  I love these sweet little students too.  This is a good time of year to review these norms with our kiddos.  You can grab this FREEBIE in my TpT store right here: Friendship Writing prompt paper.

Keep hopping along for more LOVE from the #kinderfriends

Go check out my friend Wendy right here: 1st Grade Fireworks

Thanks for stopping by!