Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MLK Coloring Sheet

Here's a little freebie I put together in honor of MLK day. You can simply drag and drop it to your desktop.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Polar Express Train Pattern

I'm thinking about snow days, winter break and more. As December planning winds down I put together a little train craft for my students to do after we read the Polar Express.

My plan right now is to copy it on cardstock. Then the kids will turn the paper over (to the non-lined side) and sponge paint it. Then they will let it dry. Next, they will cut out the shapes and assemble the train by gluing it on a large piece of blue construction paper. Then they will finger paint snow dots all over the sky.

If you want the template here you go.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday Sale!

After feasting with the family do you start shopping the sales? I do. It's so fun - I think it gives me some sort of freak adrenaline rush. If you want to start shopping early, Friday is the day to get 20% off my store. If you can hold-out until Cyber Monday/Tuesday - you'll get an even better deal by using the TPT special code CYBER to get an extra 10% off. 

In honor of Black Friday, I am joining a whole bunch of my blogging buddies, and putting my entire TPT store on sale on Friday, November 29!

On Friday only, you can save 20% off

 of every single product!

If you choose to wait for Cyber Monday and Tuesday you'll receive an additional 10% off with the code CYBER, this is just an option for those of you who want to shop early so you can get it prepped for next week!

Join us for a Black Friday Sale for 20% off all the items you need to get prepped this weekend! Check out my blogging friends who are having sales too!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gobble! Gobble! Turkey freebie!

Want to focus on the positive this November? 

Here's a cute way to recognize students or staff. 

1. Print off the turkey page (in color or black and white)
2. Write a little message about why you are thankful for that person in the blank space
3. Leave the message where they will find it (on their desk, door, mailbox, etc.)

Grab this freebie HERE!

Here's a couple of little clipart freebies for you; just click on them to download. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Short A CVC Word Reading Game Freebie

Hello, hello! I have a new freebie game for you.

I just finished working on a CVC word reading freebie. I used my CVC short a clipart for the images. To play this game students read the words and match them to the clipart picture card. They match one green card to one yellow card. 

I teamed up with some other awesome artists to bring you this freebie. I used my new favorite fonts from my friend Michelle at Teach 123 and darling digital background paper and balloon clipart from my other bloggy friend Emily Brown from TheScience Life

You can grab this word reading freebie from google drive by clicking HERE

Don't forget that you can still pick up this Clipart Bundle by hopping over to Educents to grab the Clipart Collection before it is gone.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Educents Blog Hop

If you have a clipart addiction to feed - I have news for you....
 I have teamed with a bunch of awesome artists to bring you this AMAZING Clipart Collection.

I am very excited to be a part of the bundle with Educents!  I know you will love my Short Vowel A CVC Clipart set.  There are tons of images to use to create products for either personal OR commercial use. I love using my clipart to make word reading games for my kindergarten students. The images all come in both color and black line digital stamp .png format.

There are 35 other products in our bundle to get your kids learning!  Literacy, math, science, social studies, and so much more!   

Hop along to see all the goodies you will get!  
Head over to my friend Melissa's blog at The Enlightened Elephant to see the amazing set she is including in this set. :)
The deal won't last long so head over now!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Turkey Craft Template

You might remember that I blogged about doing a monthly craft that goes on the top of a traceable calendar. I have created a template for what I use in my class and have used for probably the last 10 years. :) I finally got an art program so the template looks more finished than ever. :)

You can grab it HERE.

I run all of my copies for the different parts on colored construction paper and then the kids glue and assemble it. 

Have fun!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Safety Helpers

I just put together a little book to focus on our sight word of the week: "like." You can grab it free HERE.

My theme for next week is safety helpers. We're reading Firefighters A-Z and Officer Buckle. We will be integrating health and safety during Reading time. We will read a book about germs and learn how to cover our sneezes and coughs and how to wash our hands. This week we will learn all about how to stay healthy and safe.

Clipart by KPM doodles,  Fonts by Hello Literacy, and KG fonts.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Buddies Printable

My class always partners up with an older grade to do buddies. Here is a little activity to do for their first meeting. They will work together to draw their faces/hair on the template, write their names, and fill in the blanks to learn about each other. This printable has 2 versions: (1) one big buddy and one small buddy, (2) buddies are the same size. I hope you can use it.

You can grab this freebie by clicking HERE.

Credits: crayon clipart by KMP doodles, banners by Mr. Magician, fonts by Hello Literacy and Gingersnap Fonts, and face template by me.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Surprise Sale!

TPT is having a surprise sale until Hawaii time on the 14th because they reached 100K likes. If you haven't liked them on Facebook - go - now - and like them. They have been a blessing in my life.  I have decided to joint TPT and put my store on sale too.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Number Matching Game Freebie

I just posted a new game to my TPT store. Check it out. It's easy to prep - just print, cut, and play.  My kids need practice counting and recognizing numbers so I made this game. Just cut off the tops of the acorns, and students will match them with the fingers shown on the bottom half. Check it out! :)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Traceable Calendar Art

Here's a little project that my team and I have been doing for numerous years. At the start of each month we prepare a monthly calendars & art projects.

This is an example of one we do for October: First, we prepare for the project by printing a class set of monthly traceable calendars and gluing them to the bottom half of a 12 x18 piece of construction paper (I use rubber cement and plop a big "x" of glue on the back and stick them on. Make sure this step is done ahead of time so the traceable calendar isn't soggy.   I like to make my own calendars so they have fun seasonal clipart around the edges. Then I have students trace the numbers. This is great monthly practice for kindergarteners. I model how to do the whole art project (top portion) at the beginning so as students finish they can move on to the next steps at their own pace. I prepare simple construction paper shapes or something that goes at the top and students can decorate the top as they wish. Many of my students do not celebrate Halloween, but they are ok with pumpkins so I might show them that they can do pumpkins with or without faces. I also use this time to practice 2d shapes and basic counting. I might say, "Find your 3 green rectangles,  draw one oval pumpkin and one circle pumpkin, make one square pumpkin." We practice geometry, counting, and following directions during this time. It's not included in the picture below, but you can weave raffia through and around the pumpkin stems on this project to add texture.

Click HERE to go to Google Docs to grab Oct, Nov, and December calendars (I have NOT made Jan-June yet). Sometime later I'll post those.

You can basically add any art/craft on the top portion of the calendar. My families love these and kids love making them.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back to School & a Freebie

I'm heading back to school "for real" tomorrow. I've been in inservice trainings for the last 2 weeks and am so thankful for the time I had to interact with my new web-based curriculum. My district is using Pearson's FORWARD program. It's an integrated workshop based curriculum that is almost all digital (except for the leveled reader library and trade books).

To celebrate my back to school event I'm posting a little apple freebie for you loyal followers!

Wish me luck and hope I don't have to bust out my running shoes!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Exhausted & Positive Start

I can barely hold my eyes open to write this. But I wanted to share that I'm keeping my head above water this year. We're getting all new curriculum and have been swamped with trainings and PD. This year our school kicked off the year with a "vision" meeting. As skeptical as I was, I did take something out of it. I have decided to make myself have a POSITIVE attitude. When I'm frustrated that it's the 11th hour and I still don't have a schedule - I reflect that I'm thankful to have a job. When my class size is bursting at the seams (28/29 kindergarteners) - I'm thinking of the sweet ones that I'll get to influence and shape. When I'm sweating up a storm in my non-A/C building, I'm thankful that I remembered my deodorant.

Sometimes teaching can feel like swimming upstream and the obstacles are overwhelming if you let them become that way. This year I'm making a concentrated effort to see the POSITIVE side of things. That's my vision for the year!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


It's almost time for the big BACK TO SCHOOL SALE! It is going from Aug. 18th to 19th. My whole store will be 20% off but you can get up to 28% off if you use the code: BTS13 when you check-out! You might also note that TPT is not on West Coast time like I am so the sale ends a little early for the West Coast & Hawaii friends. I know I've been bummed out by waiting till the last minute and sales end on East Coast time.

I hope you find something you like in my store. Check it out if you're interested! I think my favorite item in my store are my sight word books. I use them with my kids and they LOVE them. Happy shopping!  :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School Bulletin Board

I'm so happy with how my bulletin board turned out. It was a major pinterest fail earlier this week. All of our bulletin boards are painted to save us from using paper on the background - so it's painted a sky blue color. I started this board by stapling the crinkle border the the outermost edge (putting the staple as close to the outside edge as possible. Then I wiggled the green pieces inside and secured them with staples, last I added the pink and white dot border. This took a long time to do - no kidding, phew! I love the way it looks and I can leave it up for a while so I'm happy I invested the time. To make the jumbo cupcake I fan-folded the yellow paper base to give it texture - then I unfolded and popped out all the creases to make them pop outwards. Then I started folding tissue paper in 1/4s and then kind of did a "staple, poof, staple. The bottom blue part of the cupcake is lengthwise- 2 sheets. And it actually is double thick. I did the same thing for the green and other colors. I think the from the pink on up it's just one sheet long. I made a cherry by balling up red tissue paper and twisting a sparkly green chenille stem and stapling those up. My mini-cupcakes will have student pictures and names on them once school starts. I hope you like it!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lesson Plan Template Tutorial

Here is a little tutorial on how to copy formatting in Excel to make duplicates of lesson planning pages. You should have some basic Excel knowledge to do this. Excel for beginners can be really frustrating, but it can do cool things once you get the hang of it.

First you need to find and make an excel document that meets your lesson planning needs. Here is a link to grab my planning template. It is on an old post and has good tips for grabbing the fonts. I've used the same format for many years and have to just move times around from year to year. So first, on your own make some planning pages - or use my template.  See the picture below on what mine looks like. You could just print it and be done - print them on the copier double sided week after week ... OR ... you could do it digitally and type them in. If you want to take the next step and try typing the plans in jump to the bottom of the post for how to copy the formatting from week to week.

Now here's the part that frustrated me for a long time. How do you copy and paste that format so it stays the same with fonts, times, and column sizes from week to week? Well, I figured it out. I work on a MAC so I'm sure things will be different on PCs (sorry I can't help you there). You can download this tutorial I made by clicking this link: Tutorial

Once you have your planning pages, you can just click inside the boxes and type away!

I hope that helps!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

September Journal Freebie

I know that we're all different when it comes to teaching students how to write. I always start off by giving students lined paper (yes, from the very first day). If you do it differently - all the power to you - this isn't the place or forum to try to convince me to do it another way. I know that writing develops and some people start with blank paper, but I always make writing fun and let students explore paper with lines from the start. I do a lot of modeled and interactive writing and let students "explore" writing on the page. Some students will actually use the lines on their first attempt while others are all over the place. It's all ok in the beginning! :) 

One of the first lessons I teach comes from Lucy Calkins (after a few days of exploring writing on their own) is this one: 
***I teach students how to use the guide lines by making a squiggle story. 
I tell a basic story and model how to use the lines to write a story from left to right.***

I say something like: It was raining...the rain came down really hard. (draw vertical lines). Then it stopped so I walked to the park (draw dashed lines). A dog barked so I got scared and ran really fast (wiggle lines). Then I saw a bee. It buzzed around and around (swirly lines). When I get to the end of the line I make a big deal about wanting to tell what happened next and then I teach the "return sweep" and how to use the bottom line to keep telling the story. (RETURN SWEEP). Then I walked some more (dashed lines). I had to walk through really tall grass (tall lines). Then I saw a rabbit hopping (bouncy lines). I was happy - the end (period).

After doing a story like this students will write stories with squiggles and lines on the writing lines. It's amazing how fast they pick it up. Later, we'll work on adding letters and labels into our writing. I usually take dictation and write it on the worm-line so that I can share student stories with parents and remember what all the squiggles mean.

If you would like to grab this Journal cover and pages (Cover, 15 pages, blank back cover) you can get it from my Google Drive. 


Monday, August 5, 2013

Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gift

I'm getting ready to go back to school - well in a couple of weeks. So the pressure is on to get all the "fun" stuff ready now so that when I'm back in the trenches I can have my nose buried deep in the new curriculum we're using this year.

I know that my co-workers love treats just like I do. So I made these cute little jars full of M&M's with a fun tag on them. I printed my tags on glossy paper from Office Max. Then I cut them out and used double-sided tape to stick them to the lids. I think they're cute and I know that I would LOVE getting a gift like this.

$4.97 for 4 jars (Walmart)
$1.42 for the tags (Office Max - I printed 8 just in case I want to make more)
$0 for the candy (My mom had a giant bag from Costco and offered to fill these up as I started making them)
Total: 6.39 which = when divided by 4 = about $1.60 per gift. Not too bad!

You can CLICK HERE to grab the tags.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

CVC Game Freebie

I just made a little CVC short a game freebie! You can hop on over to my TPT store to grab it!

It takes minimal preparation. Just print, grab a couple of dice and crayons and you're all set! The first game works on the at family and the second game is mixed practice of CVC short vowel A words. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Shape Sorting Jars

I kind of feel like I'm channeling Harry Potter or something when I tell you I've got a new product that is for sorting shapes - it's not a magical sorting hat... but a fun sorting jar... maybe I just gave away the fact that I'm nerdalicious! Ha ha... any way....

I just finished working on my shape sorting jars. I drew these cutie patootie jars and labeled them with shapes. Then I made environmental shapes clipart (I drew those too - who would have guessed?). So basically what you do is cut out the shape cards and let students sort them into/onto the correct jar. There are 9 jars & 42 shape cards. I'm thinking about using this out as a math center. There are jars for 2D and 3D shapes. Fun! If you like it - check it out in my store.

And I wouldn't be satisfied until I gave you a jar of your own to use. Here's a little freebie! You can use these jars to make your own sorting things or whatever else you're inspired to do! Click on the jars to get your free downloads!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Printable Calendar Freebie 2013-2014

I'm working on getting my things printed for back to school. One of the things I just finished working on are these monthly calendars.  REVISED: They go from January-December 2014. They go from August 2013-July 2014. If you like them - make sure to leave me some love in the comments! It makes my day!

You can grab them here if you'd like: CLICK HERE

2015-2016 Calendars are HERE They go from August 2015 to July 2016 (my school year)

Credit for the cute clipart credit goes mostly to KPM Doodles & My Cute Graphics. I drew the October clipart, and the fonts used are Second Chances Sketch & Hello Millionaire.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Appreciation Tags

If it's confession time...I must admit. I'm a pin-aholic! I can't stop looking at Pinterest pins. Like whenever I need to see a cute idea I login. I might need an intervention.

Well, tonight my mom called me on her way home from work (using her bluetooth of course) and her boss gave her a big chore to do. She needed my techie help.  Kind of on a whim they're going to surprise their staff at the big office with some small tokens of gratitude. I love little random acts of kindness so of course I offered to help. Inside this corner of the company office they have about 30 people who they want to thank. Now my mom can't do anything just normal - she has to make it CUTE. I think I got that gene too. I like to make stuff cute. 

So... after surfing for pins I came up with these ideas. Many thanks to the pioneers who pinned their wonderful things and gave me so much inspiration.

Here are a few of my favorite pins:

LISA STORMS made these super cute tumblers with darling tags! 
I think I have a new blog to stalk! Talk about cute stuff!

The HAPPY HOME FAIRY made these darling sanitizer labels. 
If you haven't visited her blog you MUST go check it out! Run...I mean click and go see! It's awesome!

So you get the idea - you buy some mini-presents, print out a cute colorful tags (I emailed mine to Office Max and they print in color for about 50 cents a page. Then,  hole punch the tags and tie them on with some sort of ribbon or twine. Here are the tags I made for my mom's co-workers. 

to download my tags
These will be tied so they dangle around a can of Rockstar Energy Drink.
These go on a starburst.
Attach these to Mounds candy bars.
These go on top of a box of Hot Tamale candy

These go with a pack of EXTRA gum

Put these with a roll of lifesavers.

These go with a pack of 100 grand candy bars or individual bars

These go with some Mt. Dew soda pop.
**NOTE** This is a very similar tag to one I found on pinterest. I can't find the originator of it- so if it's you or you know who made it- please let me know so I can give them credit and a link to their blog. Thanks!