Post Card to Santa

I've redone an oldie but a goodie.
And now it's waaaaayyyy cuter!

check it out

Here's more details about what you get.
It's perfect for children from K to 2.
There's three different levels which suits differentiated learning perfectly.


Math on Mondays - Number Concept with Chalk Boards


So today I'd like to explain how using many different types of manipulatives in the same situation can solidly reinforce the concept you are teaching.

I apologize for the amateur attempt at photoshopping the images below, but I think you'll get my meaning from them.

Right now we are working on number concept with my Grade Two's.
I really want them to use the manipulatives below to reinforce number concept.  Later I will introduce regrouping, and using real money is a big motivator for many children.  So it's important that they understand how to use it as a number concept tool, before they can use it to understand regrouping.

So this week I introduced how to use the small chalkboards.
The kids practiced making many different 2 digit numbers in the place value frame and then placed the base ten blocks over top so that the kids would make the connection.

When I introduce the concepts in base ten blocks - I start out with snap cubes first, because then the kids can build their own rods out of  10 cubes to further connect that the rods are equal to 10 cubes.

After a lesson of this, we start using the base ten blocks.  I want the kids to connect that they are the same as the snap cubes.

 And finally, I introduce using money.  When we get to regrouping in a few weeks, the kids will understand how to trade 10 pennies for a dime.  Look for that post coming up after Christmas.

Here's a quick shot of my Smart Board.  I drew my place value mat, wrote the number in, the illustrated how to draw the cubes and rods.  Finally I showed the kids a tally of the same number to further connect that although these all look different, they are displaying the same concept.

Thanks for stopping by again today!


It's here and it's on.

BLACKFRIDAY14 is the code

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Here's a look at my four bundles

for the Fairy Tale Big Bundle.  It's an oldie but a goodie.
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Starting Monday...



Winter Cardinal Art and a Science Unit


We are learning about birds in my classroom.

I have a great new  in my store about birds that we are working through

to check it out.
Here's a shot of my current bulletin board.

I apologize for the fuzzy picture.  There are some closeups below.
We used the directions from ArtProjectsForKids which is a great resource.
CLICK HERE to check out her tutorials.
First we drew the cardinals with pencil.  Then we painted the red and yellow with tempera paint.
When the paint was dry we added the snowflakes with white crayon and did a crayon resist with blue watercolor paints for the sky.  And finally we painted the branch and then traced over it all with a black sharpie.  Check them all out - I love the personalities in each picture.

Thanks for stopping by today!



There is a group of us at Teacher's Pay Teachers who are having a Black Friday Bundle sale.

How it works is that each seller will have four bundles deeply discounted on Black Friday.
Stay tuned, for OTHER discounts on Cyber Monday, but this one is especially for Black Friday

The search code in TPT is 

BLACKFRIDAY14 - all one word.

to go check out my store.

I have my bundles already highlighted in my store - but they will be even more discounted on friday only.  Stop by and add one to your wishlish!

thanks for stopping by today!

Math on Mondays


Math Stations are an excellent part of any complete Math program.  You can use math stations in a variety of ways in the classroom.  Some teachers set aside a specific time for Math Stations, other use it for children who are early finishers of seat work.  I like to use a combination of both.  Young students are only able to focus on a short amount of seat work, and older students, of course, are able to sit still for longer amounts of time.  I currently teach Grade 2, and I use Math stations most days for the children who finish early, and I also use them to introduce a new topic, or idea, because I believe that individual, hands on activities are the best way for children to learn.
When I taught kindergarten I used Math Stations as a complete method of teaching Math.  Most of my lessons were based out of the program Math Their Way by Mary Baratta-Lorton.  Although this program was developed almost 50 years ago, the basic concepts are fantastic.  Here are some of the ideas that I gained from her program.

1- start with free exploration.  Allow the children to play with the manipulatives without limitations.  It takes a few days for the kids to move past ‘playing’ with the manipulatives, and can focus on specific activities with them.  They need to ‘get their play out’.

2- set aside a specific area to contain the math stations and label them with pictures AND words.

3- teach the children how to set up and how to clean up the math stations before you expect to start full lessons with them.

4- baby steps – introduce new manipulatives and new stations slowly.  Give the kids lots of time to explore. 

5- use real life materials – and explain to the kids where they come from to further their connection between the concepts and the real world.  Cute plastic teddy bears and brightly colored blocks are fun and can be used as well, but real-world manipulatives are the best.  Math their Way explains how to use “junk” to create collections of manipulatives.  The best part about these collections or “Junk Jobs” as I call them, Is that they are free and easy to create.  Send home notes to your parents asking for help for your collections and you will be amazed at what you will get in a short amount of time.  My collection of Junk Jobs includes about  50 keys discarded from a hardware store,  hundreds of buttons,  tons and tons of different colored Bread tags from loaves of bread, lids from dried out markers, beads, and more…

6- be consistent.  Each page has a little happy face on the top right corner of the page to help early readers realize which way is up when reading print.  This is consistent throughout the program.  Every worksheet is labeled like this.  It’s the consistencies in the little things that make Math Stations go smoothly

Overall, I think Math Stations are an excellent way to teach Math.  They are extremely flexible and can be relatively inexpensive to set up.  Although they do take a lot of time to set up, your students will learn so much more, by making connection to the real world, and by using the manipulatives by themselves because children learn the best when they get to “play” with things.   To play, after all, is what every child’s job truly is.- 

Cats - A Science and Critical Thinking Unit

Here it is, my latest product.

This is a Life Science Unit which incorporates the concepts behind the Knowledge Framework.  It's an excellent way to build vocabulary and work on critical thinking skills.

to get your own copy

or scroll down for more details.

This is a Science unit about cats which is designed to build Critical Thinking skills for all learners, and to work on increasing language and vocabulary, especially with ELL learners.  This unit involves minimal prep and tons of blackline masters.  In this unit there are tons of cut and paste activities, sorting and classifying activities, tallies, full color and black and white versions for the teachers, mini books, tons of images of cats and resources for the teacher.

The unit is built on the principles of Mohan’s Knowledge Framework which is divided into six areas:

.        DESCRIPTION - In order to fully understand what you are studying the students need to know all the proper vocabulary to describe their thinking.  This set of lessons is designed to assess the students’ knowledge and ensure that they have the essential vocabulary to learn about the topic.

      SEQUENCE - When learning about sequence, the students are building their knowledge about the logical order of things.  They are also building on the vocabulary involved like the words “first, then, next after, last...”  Being able to organize information into a logical sequence is a higher level thinking skill.

CHOICE - Making a choice, or a decision is a very difficult skill for some people.  Working on
this skill is an important step in critical thinking development. 

CLASSIFICATION - Being able to sort and classify objects into categories is an important critical thinking skill. 

      PRINCIPLES - Principles are a series of steps created to achieve a goal.  In this lesson the students can follow the steps to create a drawing of a cat.  Being able to follow directions in a set order is an important higher-level thinking skill.

          EVALUATION – this is a skill for the students, not for the teacher.  This type of lesson could be used for the teacher’s assessment, but it is initially for building up the skill of evaluating for the child.  Evaluation is when the students take all the skills and knowledge that they have learned and put it all together.  This is how they synthesize their knowledge.

So that's it.
I hope you enjoy it.  I can't wait to try it out now that I've "prettied it up".


Peace is When I Look at the Sun

I just thought I'd share some Remembrance Day art from the walls at school with you today!  The bottom photo is done by a cute Kindergarten student.  Her message really resonated with me, "Peace is when I look at the sun."  I hope you can all see the sun today!


Thanks for stopping by today!