Reflections of 2015

I always look forward to this linky every year.  I like to look back on my year and think about all the wonderful things that have happened.


At the beginning of the year we took a ski trip up to Wisconsin and took our kiddos skiing for the first time.  My son has a huge fear of heights, but I was so proud of him for conquering that fear and riding the ski lift.  Plus, we found out he was a natural at skiing.



In March, I went to French Lick for a blogger meet up and got to spend some time with these fabulous ladies right here!


In April, we completely redid our kitchen.  Here is a before picture:



Here is our after picture:


In May, I graduated with my Master's Degree in Reading.  It was definitely a huge accomplishment for me.


This summer my sweet friend Heidi, from Flipping for First, introduced me to the Container Store!  Mind Blown!!  How had I never been here before?


We took a little mini-vacation to the Wisconsin Dells.  It was so much fun and I highly recommend it for a fun family getaway.



In July, some of best friends moved to Memphis.  It was so sad to see them go, but we know how happy they are being closer to family now.  Here is a picture from their going away party.



This year marked my 15 year class reunion.  (Man that made we feel old admitting to that.)  Hubby and I made use of the fun photo booth.  You can see how excited he was to be there.  Lol!


 In October, I took my daughter to the Taylor Swift concert.  By far, the best concert I have been too.  We definitely made some memories that will last our life time!


We had two sweet babes join the family.....Wyatt & Savannah.


And let's not forgot my big move this year.  With two days before school started, I was told I was being moved to a different school because my previous school did not have enough students to have two kindergarten teachers and I was lowest in seniority.  It was definitely a hard time because I loved my building, but things could not have worked out any better.  I love my new building and now work in the building that my kids go to.  Here is a picture of what my room looked liked the first day of school.  (They had just brought my boxes to my new classroom)


How could we not end this year end re-cap with a picture of my kiddos with Santa?  They have been amazing kids this year so I am sure Santa will be good to them!



 I hope your 2015 was a blessed one.  I can't wait to see what 2016 has in store my family and I!

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Holiday Freebies

December can be a busy month both at home and in the classroom.  It's nice to find a print and go activity that you can do with your students.

I have created three print and go freebies for you to use with your students.

An elf application.....I like to use this with my Elf Yourself craftivity.



Next up is a reindeer writing activity.


Lastly, there is a santa writing that is always fun to do with little ones.


You can grab these holiday freebies from my TpT store here.

Head on over to the Global Glitter's 12 Days of Giving to check out some other fun Holiday freebies.





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Thanksgiving Activities for the Classroom





Before a holiday I like to spend some time doing some "fun" centers/activities.  Thanksgiving is no different.



We did these activities on Friday as it was our last day before break.  I like to have 5 to 6 activities that my students rotate through.


Activity #1
Pilgrim and Native American hats

We are having a Thanksgiving feast so we are letting each student decide on whether they would like to be a Pilgrim or Native American.  At this center, they will be making their hats to wear at our feast.  Here is what the hats look like.  How cute are these?




Activity #2
Thanksgiving placemat

For our Thanksgiving feast, each student will also make a placemat that tells us what they are thankful for.

I had a couple helpers at this station.  (One was my son because he bought a "help another class" pass from our school store)




Activity #3
Push Pin Art

I found this great freebie on TpT.  I always have students do this activity at the carpet so they can easily push through the paper.  Click on the picture to grab it for yourself.



Activity #4
Playdough Fun!



Here are some free play dough mats.  There are also Halloween ones as well, but we are just using the tree and the turkey this Friday.

Activity #5
Thanksgiving Poem and bracelet

You can grab your copy here.

Of course at the end of the day we had a Thanksgiving feast.


Boy, did we have fun.  I love talking with my students about what it means to be thankful and what we are all thankful for.

One thing I am thankful for is all of you.  Thank you for taking time to read my blog.  As a thank you to all of you wonderful followers, my entire store will be on sale on Thanksgiving Day for 20% off.



What activities do you do with your students for Thanksgiving?  I would love to hear in the comments below!
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Bright Ideas Round Up

It's time for our annual Bright Ideas Round up.  These are just a few of the ideas from this year.



Click on the pictures to head to the original posts!

Need a bright idea to make planning for a sub a snap?  Check out this post.

Here is a bright idea about how I do word work activities with small groups during guided reading time.


This is post is all about our classroom morning procedures.


If you want even more bright ideas, follow me on Instagram or Facebook.  You can also check out these other great posts below.




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Five for Friday

It's that time of the week again.....time for Five for Friday!  Here are five things from my week.




We have been working hard on counting to 100.  We were using Jack Hartman's song this week.  The students loved the country line dancing.  I had so much fun giggling as I was watching them.  You can check out his video here!




Totally not school related, but I was super excited to find this fabric this week.  I am going to make curtains with it for my kitchen window.  The color matches perfectly to our blue accents in our great room!




I posted these visual directions for FREE in my TpT store.  You can grab them here.





We finished up our farm unit this week and made ice cream in a bag today to celebrate!





My son is playing the clarinet and they play a song at our Holiday Program in December.  He has been practicing so hard on his song.  I am one proud mama!




You turn......head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and link up!  


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Number Recognition & Counting to 20

I am pretty sure I have shared my love for math centers with you before.  The reason that I love having my students do math centers is because it gives me the time to sit down with small groups and work on the skills they need to.



Today I had a small group that needed some help with counting and number recognition.  I came up with this NO PREP activity to help them with just that!


I wrote numbers on post-it notes in random order.  After I wrote a number I had the students identify the number.


Once we had all the numbers 1 - 20, I had the students tell me how to put the numbers back in order.  They had to tell me what number what was next in order and then point to the post-it note with that number.


The students then put the post-it notes back in order.


Lastly, I had the students count to 20 while pointing to the numbers as they said them.

It was quick, easy, and the students had fun moving the post-it notes around.  I plan on doing this the next couple of days until this small group really gets a handle on their numbers and counting to 20.


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Teaching Gratitude

In November I like to take the time to teach my students about being thankful.  I love to create a display so we can think about it the whole month long.  This year we created a thankful tree using Ellison dies.  You can check out how I made this bulletin board by checking out my post on the Ellison blog here.


Since I am teaching my students about being thankful, I just want to say how thankful I am to all of you who continue to read my blog.  I am thankful for all the wonderful people the blogging world has brought into my life!

What are you thankful for?  Sound off in the comments below.  :)
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Halloween Activities

I like to have "fun centers" once in awhile, but especially for holidays.  Halloween is no different.  I set my room up with 5 "fun centers" and the students rotate around the room so that they can complete each activity.  Both the students and I have a lot of fun with it.




Here are the activities that we did.  

#1 Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe


I made these tic tac toe sheets.  You can grab them here for free.  Students used little Halloween erasers to play tic tac toe.

#2 Pumpkin Candy Corn Activity


These printables are free from here.  My students covered the picture and then once they were finished I let them eat the candy corn. I think this may have been their favorite activity.  ;)

#3 Candy Corn Artwork




All you have to do is draw a candy corn shape on black construction paper.  Students tear yellow, orange, and white construction paper then glue it in the proper spot.  This is a great fine motor activity.

#4  Halloween Book



My students made this Halloween book.  They "buttered" the "popcorn" words in the book then practiced reading it and colored the pictures in the book.  We always add these books to our book boxes when we finish.  You can grab this book here.

#5  Masks


I let each student make their own mask.  I used my Ellison dies to make a bunch of masks.  Then I let the students decorate them any way that they wanted.  They had a blast with this.


I mean look at that face!  Priceless!!!!!

What are your favorite Halloween activities to do with your class?
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