Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thank you for a wonderful year! Looking back at 2012...

I want to thank all of you for visiting my blog throughout this past year. I have been truly blessed to have such wonderful readers. I am already working on some posts for 2013 and I can't wait to get back to blogging like I use to.

I wanted to give a shout out to my top 10 blog referrers from this past year. (I didn't include sites like Pinterest or Google, just fellow bloggers.) I am so thankful that you linked to my blog in some way!

Top 10 Blog Referrers
 I'm looking forward to an even better 2013!

Take 20% off all items in my TpT store through tomorrow!

Teachers Supporting Teachers

Since tomorrow is the last day that I'm participating in the Teachers Supporting Teachers fundraiser for Sandy Hook Elementary, I decided to run a sale in my TpT store. Tonight and tomorrow, take 20% off all items in my store. I would love to bump up the amount I'm donating and you can benefit, too!

Kindergarten -

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Supporting Sandy Hook Elementary Teachers, Staff and Students

 Teachers Supporting Teachers

I vividly remember the exact feeling I felt when one of my co-workers came to my room last Friday to say that she had just read about the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. It gave me chills and I was speechless. My mind was racing with thoughts of loss, sadness, grief, guilt, protection, blessings and all I could do was sit there stunned with shivers of fear trying to take in this shocking story that seemed so unnatural to have to hear.

My own babies got to my room after school and I looked at them through different eyes that day. Scared, yet thankful eyes. I went home that night and sat watching the news for over an hour crying for these babies, their friends, their families, the teachers and staff and the community whose name I had not known until now. So many questions, so much heartbreak and feelings of absolute helplessness and grief. It felt like their loss was my loss, too.

My mind went through all of the what-if's that you think about when such a tragedy occurs.Why did this happen? How would I have handled it? Can I secure my room fast enough? How strong is our lock? Should the kids all huddle together like we've practiced or should they be spread out around the room so they aren't concentrated in one area? What if someone hears us? What about my own children? Where are they right now? Are they safe?  Are they scared? Do they know how much I love them? Are students praying? Can they feel my prayer over them? What are the families thinking? How soon can they get here? How long will it take for someone to respond? How do I keep everyone calm? What did the students see? How are they going to handle what they saw? The questions and scenarios in my head were unbearable and I'm just a bystander miles and miles away.

I cannot begin to fathom the unbearable pain associated with losing a child in such horrific manner. My heart aches for the families of these precious children whose lives were cut way too short. My faith tells me that they are in Heaven and my heart knows this is true. However, the irrational part of me sees only the gut-wrenching part of losing a child and/or having a child that has witnessed such a horrific event at such a young and tender age. How will this school ever regain normalcy and whatever will it look like to them?

Going back to work on Monday seemed wrong. I wasn't ready to leave my own children. I wasn't ready for them to be out of my sight. I was scared that my students would ask questions that I wouldn't be able to answer without crying. The last thing I want to do is frighten my students with my own tears. I was scared they might have seen something on television that might make them apprehensive about coming to school. However, Monday came and went like any other day for my Kindergarten students. They didn't know or weren't talking about anything that had happened. It's now Wednesday and I've only had two students who asked about why teachers were wearing green and white ribbons and they were satisfied that my answer was, "We are wearing them to honor people who have lost their lives." They didn't need me to go on and I still don't think I could have. Tuesday, our teachers, faculty and staff wore green and white, as well as, green and white ribbons to show our support for the Newtown community. One teacher led a prayer group before school and it was such a blessing to hear.

I pray that this will never happen again. Not at your school and not at mine. Although nothing I can do will bring back the 28 lives lost that day or take away the pain of the grieving families and community, I can play a tiny role in helping the teachers, staff and students begin to heal. I was invited by Kristin from Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten to participate in Teachers Supporting Teachers. I will be donating 100% of my TpT sales from today through December 31, 2012 to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Be sure to click the picture at the top of this post to check out the other bloggers and TpT stores that will be participating.

Thank you for reading this post. I truly appreciate your support!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lots of New Christmas Hundreds Chart Activities!

Just popping in to tell you about some of the new hundreds chart activities I made for Christmas. You can check them out in my TpT store. I hope you like them! They can be used as a printable for younger students or digital for older students. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Square Cat Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Lisa - burkeandco{at}! She is the winner of the autographed copy of Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I will be hosting another fun giveaway very soon!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Square Cat Autographed Book Giveaway!

A while back, the sweet author/illustrator, Elizabeth Schoonmaker sent me a copy of her book Square Cat and another autographed copy to give away to one lucky reader! I had the opportunity to read the book for the first time this school year. We are always looking for a book to go with our math units and my co-worker, Robin, found the book Square Cat for our square projects and it fit perfectly. The story is so cute!

My daughter read the story Square Cat and completed a project in her class, as well. Her teacher, Lisa from Teaching Kindergarten Kiddos, posted a picture of  my daughter's version of Eula, the Square Cat on her blog and Elizabeth Schoonmaker posted it on her blog, as well. How fun! Check it out below. :)

Square Cat is story about a cat who wants so badly to fit in, but soon realizes with the help of her friends that she is special because of her shape and doesn't have to be a certain shape to fit in. I love that the story has a great moral! The best part of this book is that the illustrations match the words perfectly, which I love for this age! Every early childhood classroom needs this book! If you don't win, you definitely need to purchase a copy or ask your librarian to get it for your school library next year.

I will announce the winner on Friday, November 30. Best of luck to each of you!
***The links above to the book, Square Cat, are referral links.***

Sunday, November 18, 2012

3D Turkey Labeling Craftivity for Thanksgiving!

Do you need something fun to do this week before your Kinder kiddos take off for the Thanksgiving vacation? If so, I have a fun craftivity that will be super adorable in your classroom, as well as, create a learning opportunity for your students to extend their labeling skills to the parts of a turkey!

Click on the picture below to see my 3D Turkey Labeling Thanksgiving Craft in my TpT store. It is only $1.50! 

Lots of new Christmas Hundreds Charts listed on TpT!

This weekend, I played around and created a few more hundreds chart activities. I had several requests for more charts for Christmas, so it was a fun challenge! It had a ball printing them out to play with my daughter. She wanted to do one right after another, which was great for me, because it gave me the chance to check to make sure I had the numbers and colors correct. :)

I hope that you will find these useful, as well. There are four new charts listed and I also included the freebie Santa's Suit that I offered previously. Click on one of the pictures below to purchase a set for only $3!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Veteran's Day Patriotic Boy Hundreds Chart {FREEBIE}

I had a request to make a hundreds chart for Veteran's Day and it was harder than I imagined. I tried making a soldier, a sailor, etc, but the number of squares wasn't working in my favor. Other people online have already created flags, so I didn't want to duplicate their ideas. I came up with a patriotic boy. Actually, it's suppose to look like he's holding up a flag, but it might be hard to tell. It's not exactly what I had in mind, but I think it might work. I tried making him salute, but I couldn't get his hand to look right.

I hope this will work for some of you. Click on the picture below to download your copy from my TpT store.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pilgrim Boy and Girl Hundreds Chart Picture Activity for Thanksgiving

Just popping in to post about the newest hundreds chart activities I created. It's a Pilgrim Boy & Girl Hundreds Chart. I hope you like it! Just click on the picture to purchase this chart from my TPT store. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Where's the Spider? Postional Words Emergent Reader and Retelling Wristband

We're doing a unit on Bats & Spiders this week, so I created an Emergent Reader called Where's the Spider? for my kiddos to practice sight words and positional words. It includes positional word cards to match with corresponding spider positions, as well as, a retelling wristband that would be great for assessment. Check it out on TpT by clicking the picture above!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Election Day and the Voting Process Mini Unit and a FREEBIE!

I'm pretty sure with all the political posts, ads, commercials, posters, signs, talk, etc. that I should have probably titled this post Check out These Adorable Puppies and Scrumptious Chocolate Cupcakes or something if I truly wanted to catch your attention. :) However, if you're still reading, be sure to check out the new mini unit I just posted on TpT for the upcoming Election Day in November. Our entire school will be taking part in a mock election, so I created this mini unit to help teach and reinforce the voting process, along with staying true to our theme using cross-curricular activities. Click on the picture below to take you to my TpT store!

Included in this unit:
I Will Vote, Will You? Song (color and black/white)
Voting on Election Day Retelling Wheel
My Box Book of Election Day
I Voted! Headband
I Voted! Bracelets/Wristbands
Would you like to be the President? Analyzing Class Results
Would you like to be the President? Header and Graphing
Election Day Spin and Graph
Skip Counting by 10's

I also have a math freebie available for you! Just click on the picture below to download your copy!

I've also started a new Election Day board on Pinterest. Here's a pin that I plan to use. It's a video from Scholastic that is only a little over two minutes long and stays unbiased enough to just present a few facts to students so they can get to know the Presidential candidates before our election.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin 3D Labeling, Investigations and a Freebie!

This week went by way too fast! I cannot believe it is already second quarter and I'm still begging for more teaching time at the end of each day. Some weeks I feel like this is my first year teaching all over again, except there aren't as many cutesy projects. :)

We have had so much fun this week! We celebrated our 40th day of school on Monday, had a pumpkin patch field trip on Tuesday, 3D pumpkin labeling on Wednesday, testing and pumpkin observations on Thursday and more testing and birthday celebrating on Friday.

One of the perks of teaching the same grade level my daughter is in is that I get to go on all her field trips and participate in class activities with her. I had to include the picture of her above on her field trip to the pumpkin patch. I love that girl to pieces! It was crazy windy, so her hair was all over the place. :)

For our 3D pumpkin labeling project, we felt like we needed something that was fun and cute, but still helped us stay in line with the Common Core and our state's Science expectations. This is what we came up with.

I have the directions and printables available in my TpT store for only $1. Just click on the picture below to take you to my store.

Today is my birthday and yesterday I had lots of super sweet treats from my secret pal, teacher friends and students. One of my students and his mom brought me a pecan pie fresh from the oven! I'm so blessed!

All three of our Kindergarten classes combined the results of our How many jack-o-lanterns tall are you? graph.

If you don't have a die cut machine to make your pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns for this activity, click on the picture below to download this freebie from TpT! It includes pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns in case you can't use Halloween themed items in your classroom.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Parts of a Pumpkin Literacy Mini Unit and FREEBIE

This week seemed to fly by! We had lots of special visitors for Fire Safety Week, including our local Fire Department, Smokey the Bear and Pluggie the Fire Hydrant (American Red Cross). We also had Professional Development training day on Friday, so we've been very busy.

My co-workers and I have been working on the next three weeks worth of lessons to help get us through the end of October and beginning of November. I am loving having two hours a week of plan time with my fellow Kindergarten teachers.

While I was thinking about what to do for our Pumpkins unit, I came up with a song for Science to help teach students the parts of the pumpkin. However, I didn't have any cutesy graphics to go with it. So, I contacted Denyse at Scrappin' Doodles with my song and asked if she could make some graphics to go with it. I got an email from her that she was finished today and the graphics were absolutely PERFECT for what I was needing! Be sure to check out all of Denyse's cute designs at

Then, Parts of a Pumpkin Literacy Mini Unit was born! I also added to the unit an emergent reader, a labeling worksheet and the song in pocket chart form with pictures. Feel free to check it out in my TpT store by clicking the picture below. It is only $3.

Click on the picture below to download your freebie!  I hope you like it!

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Firefighter Fire Safety Hundreds Chart PIcture Activity

***Update...Due to a seller bundling my items and offering them for sale via another web site, I am no longer offering these items for free. I'm sorry! I hope you understand.***

I created a Firefighter Hundreds Chart for Fire Safety Week next week. I hope you like it!

Click on the picture below to purchase this chart from my TpT store for only $1!

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Polar Bear Hundreds Chart for Winter

***Update...Due to a seller bundling my items and offering them for sale via another web site, I am no longer offering this item for free. I'm sorry! I hope you understand.***

I couldn't sleep last night, so I ended up creating another hundreds chart picture. Can you tell that it's a polar bear? It might be a stretch. :) However, I thought it would be fun for our Winter/Polar Animals unit. I hope you like it, too!

Click on the picture below to download this hundreds chart picture from my TpT store for only $1!

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Native American Hundreds Chart Picture Activity for Thanksgiving

***Update...Due to a seller bundling my items and offering them for sale via another web site, I am no longer offering this item for free. I'm sorry! I hope you understand.***

I am having so much fun trying to make new hundreds charts for this year. Tonight, I came up with a Native American Hundreds Chart for our Thanksgiving unit. I hope you will find it useful, too!

Click on the picture below to purchase a copy from my TpT store for only $1!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Frankenstein Hundreds Chart Picture Activity for Halloween

***Update...Due to a seller bundling my items and offering them for sale via another web site, I am no longer offering this item for free. I'm sorry! I hope you understand.***

I had a request for a Frankenstein Hundreds Chart, so here you go! Just click on the picture below to purchase this chart in my TpT store for only $1.

I also added a Halloween Base Ten and Ten Frame Number Match up for numbers 1-10. You can get it through my TpT store for only $1!  Just  click on the picture below.

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