Centers I Can't Live Without

Have you stocked up for the TpT Cyber Sale yet??  Both of our shops are on sale with all products 28% off with code TPTCYBER

Teacher's Clubhouse {Primary Shop}
Lightbulb Minds {Intermediate Shop}

One thing from our shops that I can't live without in my own classroom at the moment is our new "Any Time" math centers.  Each set includes 10 centers revolving around one unit.  Everything you need to hit ALL the standards in that unit PLUS some.  And, the best thing?  They're a cute theme that can be pulled out and used at any time of the school year!  

Here are the sets we have available so far...

What math unit would you like to see me work on next??


Budding Bloggers Showcase {Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive}

Hi Everyone!

My name is Cori Blubaugh, and I am the author of Mrs. B's Beehive!  I want to thank Amanda for this generous opportunity to tell you all about my blog!

    I've been a kindergarten teacher for seven years at a school in San Ysidro, CA.  My school is about 5 minutes from the Mexican border, so my classroom contains almost 100% ELL students, many of whom cross the border everyday to attend our school.  This year, I will be adding the title of Assistant Vice-Principal of Academics to my school responsibilities, and I can't wait to bring new curriculum ideas to my fellow staff members.

    I live close to my school with my husband of three years, and our two dog babies, Nigel, the Schnoodle, and Vivi, the Italian Greyhound.  We love to travel, and a couple of our favorite recent destinations include Chicago, New Orleans, and Key West.  My husband somehow talked me into going to Pamplona, Spain to run with the bulls on his 40th birthday, so we will be doing that next July! 

We feel blessed to live in San Diego county, and spend our time enjoying all that the city has to offer with family and friends, especially dog beach! : )

    My absolute favorite subject to teach is language arts. Many of my students come on the first day of school, not knowing a word of English.  It is amazing to see the progress they make throughout the school year as they learn to speak English, and then learn to read and write in that new language as well!  It is truly remarkable what the human brain is capable of, especially at that young age.

    I love to foster a sense of independence in my students.  If you popped into my classroom, you would see students working on learning activities that interested them, moving around the classroom freely, with a sense of ownership, and shared community.  I love working with small groups, and meeting each child's needs at their own individual levels.

 When I'm having one of those "special" days at work, my husband, friends and I usually go out and enjoy some delicious Mexican food that San Diego is famous for.  It's convenient if my "special" day coincides with Taco Tuesday at our favorite place - Fred's in Old Town.  They have amazing tacos, and their strawberry margaritas make that "special" day and all my frustrations just melt away : )  I have a wonderful, supportive group of friends that enrich my life and make every day interesting!
I wouldn't have thought this would be true 2 years ago, but the teaching resource I can't live without is my iPad! The capabilities of it amaze me.  I love blogging about new apps and resources that I find.  The iPad has given me more mobility in the classroom, and my students absolutely love using it.  They don't even realize that the games they are playing are reinforcing the skills taught in class!  Our school is currently fundraising to get Apple TV's into each of the classrooms, and I can't wait to try those out and let you know how they are working.

I love to give my students hands on learning opportunities.  Watching the connections they make during math and science time, while using manipulatives and conducting experiments, is extremely rewarding.  This year, I'd like to do some more research into STEM activities, and how I can incorporate them into my classroom.
I absolutely love reading blogs. I have gained so much knowledge from other teachers by doing so.  I can truly say that researching and reading other teacher's blogs has made me a better teacher.  It is my goal to share tips and tricks that I have learned thus far in my teaching career.  It is my hope, that other teachers might find the information that I share, useful and impactful to them and their students.

Thank you for taking the time to read all about me!  If you would like to follow my blog, you can do so by clicking on the link below. Thank you!!!!


Budding Bloggers Showcase {Jenny from Creating the Life}

Hi! I'm Jenny from Creating the Life

I am a Florida native and have lived within 10 minutes of the beach my entire life. I have been married to ‘The Mister’ for 11 years, but am approaching the halfway mark with him…..I’ve spent half my life with him (and yes, I am 22 ;) ) We have two red-headed boys. E is turning 6 and entering 1st grade. P is 8 months and I think will be our handful. It has been amazing watching them love and play with each other this summer. It has brought happiness to my heart that I never thought was possible. 

In true girl fashion I love to shop, craft, and be pampered. I also have come to enjoy running over the past couple of years (fun fact…. I ran the Disney ½ with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) and play around with photography. I’m a homebody and find peace and happiness in being home with all of my boys.

This is my 11th year of teaching (WOW that made me feel old). I recently switched schools and now get to teach the kids in my own community. Having that connection with my students has truly made an impact on my teaching and given me a deeper understanding of them. I am currently teaching second grade (2nd year, but 3 total). I have also taught K, 1, and 4 (6 years). I love second grade! The kids are still young and sweet, but old enough to follow directions on their own ;) I am also excited that I am getting the opportunity to stay in a grade for more than one year. I have been bouncing around for the last 3 years and can't wait to really 'understand' a grade level again. 

I LOVE to teach math! I love to use manipulatives and interactive notebooks to help my students learn and understand concepts. I try to make it as fun and hands on as I can. 

What would we likely see if we popped into your classroom unannounced?....Hopefully engaged students having fun. To a stranger that may look more like unorganized chaos. Honestly, though, you would see centers and students trying to take control of their learning (this is something I am working on very hard....releasing control)

What gets you through one of “those” days? Coffee and/or chocolate, LOL! Yes, really those two things help greatly, but so does having good colleagues that you can vent to or laugh with. If it has really been one of "THOSE" days a good run can do wonders. 
What is one “can’t live without” teaching resource?
Technology  (I LOVE! GoNoodle for brain breaks. If you haven’t heard about it or tried it… I love the kids using iPads and computers, I love using computers to teach with (when they work), and PINTEREST. I am a pinaholic and think it’s amazing how it can connect teachers and the way we share ideas.

Give us a glimpse of your teaching style by sharing a brief summary of a favorite classroom activity/project.
I don't have a specific classroom activity/project (bouncing around and maternity leave ;) However, in all grades that I have been in I try to make learning fun and hands on, typically trying to bring my love for crafting into it. Some of my best memories from when I was in school was when we were working on a project. This past year at my new school (it is a lower SES school), I saw my students light up and get excited about learning when I turned it into a project.

My blogging goal (and teaching and life) for this year is to document more. I always have the best intentions to journal, blog, take pictures, but after long crazy days it seems to take the back burner. I want to document my teaching so that I can learn and grow, and possibly inspire/help others. I want to take pictures of my students learning so they can look back in 20 years and have a good laugh. Hopefully, you will want to join me on this journey and hold me accountable! 


Sundays in the South {A Step Away from Teaching}

Hey y'all!  Another week is in the books.  Can you believe that it's almost THANKSGIVING??  I am already in the Christmas shopping mood, too.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what to get anyone.  So, each time I go out (or online) to shop, I only end up purchasing stuff for myself (or the dogs)! SIGH

But, this does lead me to the first showcase for this week...

I'm pretty sure everyone is aware of my Grateful Bags obsession.  I'm in the double digits now and really try to limit myself, but then Jenny had to go and create the Harper...

I mean, everyone needs a leopard print clutch in their arsenal, right??  Leopard is the new neutral.  And, since it's a Grateful, I can play around with the styling.  I think I like the gold monogram with it, but the black could also be amazing.

Did I mention that the inside lining is hot pink??  DROOL.  Well, that's my fashion love for the week.

But, I do have one more quickie for you. ;)  I woke up on Saturday morning, rolled out of bed, and went to pull my hair into a ponytail to head to the gym when I realized it's here.  That time of year when it's so cold (don't laugh...50's are COLD!) that I burrow under my covers like a mole to stay warm, only to realize I must have been so snug during the night that I made myself sweat under the covers because those little hairs around my face are oily.  Much more oily that most mornings.  Sigh.  I do not want to pull my hair back into an oily ponytail...even for the gym.

But, that's when I remembered a free sample I got in the mail.  Dry shampoo.

I know, I know.  I've been living under a rock, but I had never used this before.  I'm a wash-my-hair-every-single-day type of girl.  After searching for where I had placed it for a bit, I gave it a try and was AMAZED!  After spraying it on my hair and brushing, there was no oil at all!  Woohoo!  Best free sample ever?  Possibly!

I tried.  I really tried not to do another Taylor Swift post this week.  I mean, even I didn't know how much I loved her until this 1989 album came out.  But, if I'm really going to tell you about my pop love of the week, it has to be her song "Blank Space".  And, not just the song, but the VIDEO!  Obsessed.  I want the styling - the clothes, the hair, the makeup, the castle, the car...even the  I make my husband cease all conversations in the car when it comes on the radio so I can get my groove on! ;)  If you're not a Swiftie, just watch the video below once.  I dare ya! ;)

Like I said, it's cold around here already.  Maybe not snowing-inches-cold like some of you are experiencing, but it's definitely hot-chocolate-cold already.  Which means I've been enjoying way too many of these...
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.  Thank you, Starbucks.  Need I say more?  Unfortunately, I have to drive out of my way to go to a Starbucks (or anywhere) in the mornings since I live on the same street as my school.  But, fortunately for me, Target sells this...
Which means even if I hit the snooze button a few extra times, I can still enjoy this heavenly goodness!  Seriously, I'm pretty sure it's one of the few good things about winter.  Well, that, and boots. ;)


Budding Bloggers Showcase {Kayla from Ms. King's Kinders}

Hello, I'm Kayla from Ms. King's Kinders and I am so excited to participate in this blogger showcase!

About Me:
I am starting my 4th year as a Kindergarten teacher in Charleston, SC. My first year of teaching I was hired at the school I attended as a child. I started in October that year and became the 5th Kindergarten teacher. The class sizes were large and they needed to create a new class. I am still teaching at this school and love it! We are currently under construction at our school for the next two years. I will be moving to my 3rd trailer after the school year starts this year. I am sure I will have many pictures and stories to share of this adventure! 

I am saving to buy a house so I currently live with my parents and my younger brother. We live very close to my school, so I am lucky that my commute to school is under 2 minutes each day!
This is a picture of us at Magnolia Gardens last year. My mom used to work there and my brother still works there.

I have one energetic and loving dog, Sophie. She is a terrier mix that I adopted from our SPCA last summer. She looked rough when I adopted her, but once she was healthy and   her hair grew back, she started to look cute! 
This was when we first got her. It is hard to tell, but she had scabs and was shaved on half of her body. I wish they would have shaved her completely! 

This was Sophie around Halloween. I love that she lets me put these things on her!

She is very energetic, but she also loves to sleep. She loves sleeping in my bed. She is quite spoiled!

This was her 4th of July collar.

I am fairly new to blogging but have read blogs since I was in college. I created my blog last summer, but then got busy getting my classroom trailer ready, I just forgot about the blog. This summer I was determined to use my blog and start making more things for my classroom/TPT. 

Favorite Subject to Teach:
My favorite subject to teach is Math. We use MyMath in our district and I have been pleased with it in Kindergarten. I have always enjoyed Math and I did well in it when I was in school. I think that is why I enjoy teaching it so much!

My Classroom:
If you were to "pop" into my classroom unannounced, you would see busy students and organized chaos. My administrators always comment that my students know exactly what to do in my classroom. We start our day at 8:10am and it is "go, go, go" until the end of the day. I teach Math after morning calendar and then I teach reading. We also complete all of our literacy center rotations before lunch each day. The afternoons are a little more relaxed. After lunch and recess we have rest time (quiet reading time after Winter break).  Then we complete writing workshop and our thematic unit activity before my students head to special area. They have snack and pack up after special area and then it is time to go home.

We are a PBIS school and we use the CHAMPS expectations in every classroom. I love using the CHAMPS expectations because they let my students know what I expect from them and what they need to do if they need help or want to get up out of their seats. This past year was the first year I have used them. It took a little while to get used to this, but by Christmas time, my students knew what the expectations were in my room during each part of our day.
This is the CHAMPS Pack we use in Kindergarten at my school. This is not something I created. We purchased this because it was so cute!

How I Get Through One of "Those Days":
I work with a great team of girls and an awesome teacher's assistant. I do not know what I would do without my assistant. My assistant and I work so well together and she helps me keep all of my students accountable. She is a very calm person and does not let stuff bother her. We are very similar in this way and mesh well together. I can always tell her if I am having a rough day and she is always there to help me out!

This is me with my teacher's assistant at our Thanksgiving Feast. She is not a fan of having her picture taken!

My Can't Live Without Teaching Resource:
My "can't live without" teaching resource is a concierge bell.

My aunt gave it to me for Christmas my first year teaching. She found it at Pier 1. I wasn't sure what I would use it for, but then someone told me to use it as an attention grabber in my classroom. My students know that the bell can only be rung by an adult and I have never had a problem with students using it. I even got my assistant one for Christmas this year. When the class gets too loud or we need to get their attention, we just tap the bell. My students know to put a quiet finger up to their lip and to look at us. It is a simple resource, but it has been great to have!

Favorite Classroom Activity/Project:
My favorite classroom activity or project would be thematic art projects. I student taught at an Arts Elementary school in my district and worked with an awesome creative teacher. She was constantly using paint, watercolors, pastels, etc and I saw that it was okay to make a mess sometimes! Before this I would have been nervous to use paint so often, but now we use paint within the first week of school in my room. The students get so excited when I tell them they get to paint. I think it is very important to set guidelines and expectations before any lesson, especially art project lessons. I have had great success doing art projects with my students because I set the expectations and model, model, model!

This is the first painting project we do in my class. The students paint their own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree and put the letter stickers on by themselves. That is why a lot of the letters are backwards!

My Blogging Goal:
One of my blogging goals for this year is to actually blog about my classroom and the activities my students complete throughout the year. I want to make an effort to take pictures often and include them in my blog posts.

Thank you so much to Amanda from Teaching Maddeness for featuring me!! You can visit my blog Ms. King's Kinders to see other pictures from my classroom.

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