Thursday, February 27, 2014


Hey there everyone!  Did you know that Teachers Pay Teachers is now 3 million teachers strong?  Yep, you read that right.  3 MILLION teachers!!!  In order to celebrate such a huge milestone, TPT is throwing a HUGE site-wide sale.  The sale lasts today and tomorrow only, and you can get up to 20% off your favorite items.  Time to clear out that Wish List!!  I hope you hop on over to my store to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime sale!! 

Coming soon to my TPT store: St. Patrick's Day activities.  I don't know about y'all, but I am SO READY for spring to hurry up and get here!!  In my neck of the woods, they're talking about another snow storm coming next week.  Ugh!!  This week has been our first full week of school since Christmas!!  How crazy is that??

Have a great rest of the week, and I'll be back soon!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hip-Hip-Hooray It's the 100th Day!

Happy Monday all!  Super sorry about the sporadic posts lately!  I haven't had internet at home in a VERY LONG TIME, and it makes blogging a lot more difficult!  Been trying to make my posts from school, but our filter blocks a lot of things.  Hopefully my landlord will get some internet back soon, and I can get back to daily posting!!

Anywho, today was FINALLY our 100th Day of Kindergarten!!  We have missed A LOT of days this year because of winter weather, and our 100th Day kept getting pushed back.  It should have happened the same week as Valentine's Day, but we had LOTS of snow days this year! Also, in our district kindergarten starts 3 days after grades 1-12 so that we can have parent/teacher entrance conferences.  So the 'big kids' had their 100th Day last week and ours is FINALLY.  Everything we do today centers around the number 100, since counting to 100 is our goal for the end of the year.  We were very lucky this year and had our 5th Grade Buddies come up and help us complete some of the activities, which made it MUCH EASIER than last year when I tried to do it all by myself!  We started our day by reading one of my favorite 100th Day Stories.

Like most of my books, I got mine through Scholastic.  If you click on the picture it will take to you over to Amazon so you can get a copy of your own!  There are so many books about the 100th Day, and I bet you have a lot in your library.  This book is about a first grade girl (I change it to kindergarten when I'm reading it) whose teacher asked them to bring in 100 things from home for their 100th Day.  The little girl is worried because she can't figure out what to bring, and she has a hard time finding her 100 things.  So her family works together to make sure little Jessica has her 100 things to bring to school.  I read this story because I have my kids complete an at-home project where they are asked to make a shirt with 100 things on it.  Inevitably, someone comes without a 100 Day shirt, and this book allows me to talk about how it's okay to forget your shirt and it's no reason to worry about it.  Some of the shirts that were done by my kiddos were super cute today!  I'll share some pics of my faves at the end of this post.

We completed many activities today centered around the number 100.  The completed a writing prompt about what they would like to have 100 of and why.  I think my favorite responses today included '100 marshmallows to build a house so the kittens can stay warm' and '100 limousines so I can crash test them'.  They also made hats, which were ten strips of paper stapled to a sentence strip, and then they added 10 dots to each strip to make 100 dots.  I let them dot with BINGO dotters, but I know that other teachers have used stickers.

They also wrote on the sentence strip 'It's the 100th Day of School!'.  The students worked with their 5th Grade Buddies to make a necklace with 100 Fruit Loops.

The kindergarteners filled up a ten-frame with Fruit Loops and their Buddies helped them string them on the yarn.  We used Cheerios for spacers between each 10, but I think next year I'll make some small tags with the numbers on them that they can use as spacers.

Our Buddies also helped us make a gumball machine with 100 gumballs.  We used Q-Tips to dot the paint, and they needed to have 10 groups of 10 dots, and I provided 10 different colors of paint.  The 5th Graders were a big help with reminding them to group their 'gumballs' by ten.

Their favorite activity of the day is to make our 100 piece snack mix.  I made these mats last year and they have been a big help with this activity.  There are 10 different snacks, and the students need to count out 10 pieces of each snack and put them in a circle.  Once they have filled up all 10 of their circles, they put all of their pieces into a Ziploc baggie and then shake it 100 times before they can eat it.

I would very much love to hear how you celebrate the 100th Day!  I'm always looking for new and fun ideas to try with my kinders!

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Little Lilly!!

Happy Friday blogging friends!!  Even though the Super Bowl has passed, I am still sporting my Purple Friday Ravens shirt today!!  :-)  So very, very much has happened since my last post, can't wait to fill you in!!

  First and foremost, the most AMAZING thing happened!!  On Tuesday, January 21, my niece was born!  I was lucky enough to be with my sister throughout the whole entire delivery.  At 1:05 AM Lilly Adelaide Castanon entered the world at 6.5 lbs and 19 inches long.  I am SO IN LOVE!!
How stinkin' cute is she!!  I bought that outfit for her to come home in, and it was HUGE on her tiny little self!!  I didn't get home to 4 in the morning on Tuesday, so luckily for me that was one of the many snow days we had!

    During the many snow days we have had this year (including the past two days) I have been working on a lot of different activities.  Keep reading and at the end there's a special offer to celebrate my Little Lilly's Birthday!!

   One of the activities I made is to help my kinders practice identifying the partners of 5.  Since there's been so very much snow this winter, I themed it around that.  It's called the Snowy Shake and Spill, and my kiddos LOVED it!  After spilling out their double-sided counters and sorting them on the 10-frame, they find that number sentence on their recording sheet and dot it with a BINGO dotter.  I don't know about y'all, but my kinders LOVE everything to do with using BINGO dotters.

Once the spill out their 5 double-sided counters (I made some to go with the activity, in case you don't have any in your room) they sorted them on the ten-frame and then used a dry-erase marker to write the number partner.

Once they wrote their sentence, they found the matching number partner on their recording sheet and used the BINGO dotter to mark it off.  This activity does involve multiple tools and steps, but my Dragons ROCKED it!!  It comes in color as well as black and white, cause we all know ink is expensive!!  Follow the link above or click on the picture to go to my TPT store and snag a copy for yourself!

Besides using BINGO dotters, my kinders LOVE to play BUMP!  There are so many different versions of this classic game, and there are lots of teachers out there who use it and love it.  In case you're not familiar with BUMP!, students play in pairs to try and put two counters on an answer to make that space 'safe'.  If there's only one counter on the answer, they can get BUMPED! off.  I created a version to go along with all this lovely snow we've been having.  Since my favorite thing to do after shoveling myself out is to have a cup of hot cocoa, I decided to make the activity centered around hot chocolate and the toppings we put on it.  So, I call this activity Topping Hot Chocolate: Number BUMP and DOT for the Numbers 1-18.

There are two activities in this packet, one BUMP! and one DOT IT!  Both activities are differentiated into three levels.  For Level 1, students roll 1 die and find the numbers 1-6 to DOT or cover up with a counter when playing BUMP.  Level 2 uses 2 dice, and Level 3 uses 3 dice.  I made up some counters that can be used to cover up the numbers when playing BUMP, but I think that using mini-chocolate bars and mini-marshmallows as counters would be SO MUCH MORE FUN!!

Finally, something I came up with while I was waiting for Lilly to make her appearance.  I have always loved to color, ever since I was a little kid.  I am able to forget about things for a while and be as creative as I want.  Since ink is getting so expensive, I thought I would try something new.  I am working on a new series of activities called 'Color Your Own!'  For this series, every activity I create will be done in black and white so that you can use your own creativity to color the pieces.  Or you can have your students color them.  OR, like my fabulous friends in first grade, you can keep them black and white and laminate them that way.  So many possibilities!!

I am in the process of making several more 'Color Your Own!' activities, so please keep checking back with me!!  To celebrate the arrival of my Little Lilly, I am throwing a SALE!!!  From today through Monday, EVERYTHING in my store will be 20% off!  So stock up while you can!!  Check back with me tomorrow, when I share with you all about our Snowman STEM project!!