I was reading one of my favorite blogs Ms. Hutten's Buttons and I saw that Krissy nominated my little blog here for a Liebster Award.  Whooo Hooo!  Thank you Krissy!!

Now I have to do the following:
1.  Post 11 random things about myself
2.  Answer the questions that the nominator set for me
3.  Create 11 questions for the people I nominate
4.  Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in my post.

Eleven Random Things about Me:
1.  I love shoes and made my husband make sure I had special shoe shelves when we redid our closet.
2.  I love nail polish, but hate having long nails.
3.  I put on sweats the instant I get home at night {I love to be in comfy clothes}
4.  I could eat strawberries every day all day for the rest of my life.
5.  I will cry at any sad show or movie in a heartbeat.
6.  I LOVE to bake, but could do without cooking :)
7.  I am exactly one foot shorter than my husband.
8.  I have had stitches 5 times, but never broken a bone.
9.  I always thought I would never, ever want to teach kindergarten, but now I can't imagine teaching anything but kindergarten.
10.  I have to sleep without socks.
11.  I hate feet!

These are the questions that Krissy gave me to answer:
1.  Favorite food item to bring to a potluck?
any kind of dip like stuff.....I love to dip things!  I have a recipe called Amanda's dip that is a big hit!
2.  What are your three most played songs on your iTunes?
Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Defying Gravity from Wicked (My daughters favorite song)
Fine by Me by Andy Grammar (My son's favorite song)
We have very eclectic music taste in our household!
3.  Do you prefer a Real book or an electronic reader?
I love a real book, but I mostly use my kindle because I can have many books with me at one time.
4.  Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?
It's a toss up between summer and fall.  I love summer because I get so much time with my kids, but I love fall weather.
5.  Favorite animals to see at the zoo?
Giraffes...hands down my favorite animal to see
6.  Favorite James Bond movie?
The World is Not Enough or Die Another Day (Those are the only two I have seen.)
7.  Breakfast cereal of choice?
I don't normally eat cereal but if I do I like kashi cereals.
8.  To iron or not to iron?
I HATE to iron......I use downy wrinkle release on every thing!!!
9.  How many things are in your TpT wish list?
Right now only 17 because I just bought a bunch of stuff during the cyber Monday sale
10. Guilty snack you eat while at the movie theater?
Popcorn with a little bit of butter
11. Mac or PC?
I have always been a PC girl until we got our newest computer which is a MAC and now I don't think I could ever go back to a PC again.

Here are my 11 questions for my nominees:
1.  What is your all-time favorite children's book?
2.  What is your all-time favorite adult book?
3.  If you could choose any job other than teaching, what would you choose?
4.  Who is the one most influential teacher you had?
5.  Do you prefer to cook or bake?
6.  What is your favorite snack food?
7.  What is the first thing you do when you get home from work each night?
8.  If your house was on fire and you had enough time to grab one thing (not a person), what would it be?
9.  What is your biggest fear?
10.  What do you feel is your greatest achievement?
11.  What is the one thing you can not teach without?

And drum roll are my nominees:
11.  Mrs. Janelle's Kindergarten Kingdom

Don't forget to check out this post {here} to enter into my giveaway!

Gingerbread and Holiday Giveaway!!!

Announcing my first giveaway and I am so excited!  {Ok, now that song is stuck in my head.....I'm so excited and I just can't hide it.....}

I am getting ready for the holidays in my classroom.  This week we are focusing on gingerbread and reading every gingerbread book we can get our hands on.  

On Monday, we graphed whether or not we have had gingerbread.  {How I wish I only had 20 students.....three were absent}  We counted the number of yes and no votes and talked about which number is greater.  This is first time I have introduced the greater than symbol to the students.

We labeled a big gingerbread man and then the students each labeled their own gingerbread person.  {I had a sub when the students did this activity and I am not so excited about the placement of the labels for eyes and mouth, but oh well.}  Here are a couple the students did.

We sang this cute little gingerbread song I found somewhere {maybe pinterest?}, but I can't remember. If you know where this song is from, please let me know so I can give credit.

After singing the song a few times, we thought about this question:  "If I made a gingerbread man and he popped out of the oven and ran out the door, where would he go?"  We used a Kagan structure for the students to share their idea with a partner before going back to their tables and illustrating and labeling their idea in their journal.  I was so excited and extremely proud at how creative they were!  Here are a few:
 These say "water" and "bed".  His gingerbread man is hiding under the bed.

 The first one is "jail" and the second is "outer space".

We are continuing on in our gingerbread study for the rest of the week.  I will post more pictures this weekend, but until then check out my first giveaway below! :)

As a big thank you to all of you following my blog and my TPT store, I am having my first giveaway!  One winner will receive every holiday item from my TPT store.  Here is a preview of those items:

Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter tool below.  Entries start today and end on Saturday.  I will notify the winner by the end of the weekend!  Go ahead and enter away!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TPT Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale!

Now that Thanksgiving is over I am planning for Christmas not only in my classroom, but also in my personal life.  I love a good sale don't you?  Especially one where I don't have to fight crowds or lines :)

This Sunday through Tuesday I will be having a sale at my TPT store {here}. On Monday and Tuesday you can receive an additional discount from TPT with the code "CMT12" at checkout.  I have posted some new holiday items to my store.  Hurry and check them out while the sale is going on so you can receive up to 28% off!

Here are a few of my new Holiday items in my store including a new Santa writing freebie:

Don't forget to check my blog this week for my first giveaway! :)

Thanksgiving Week

Who gets sick on top of being on crutches the week of Thanksgiving?  That would be me.  I sniffling and blowing my nose as I type {insert sad face here}.  I am totally bummed because I now have a fever so no school for me tomorrow.  My teaching partner and I were going to a Thanksgiving feast and I am upset I can't be there {think super sad face now}.  Luckily though, I have a wonderful substitute!

Here are a few things we did this week in my class:

We read my turkey emergent reader book.  When I introduced it, I used the pocket chart activity.  I now have this in my pocket chart literacy station.  At the station, the students will put the strips in order, match up the pictures to the correct sentence, and then I have each word written on a separate card for them to match up with the words on the sentence strips.  You can purchase this activity and emergent reader {here}.

We made these super cute turkeys to decorate the hall outside my classroom.  That is pretty much all the space I have in the hall.....not much, but we make it work {think of Tim Gunn saying this :)}.  I got this idea from Michelle Griffo over at Apples and ABC's {here}.

Then we read the story "Turkey Trouble" which my class LOVED!  We completed the turkey in disguise activity by Deanna Jump.  You can download this freebie {here}.

 This little guy disguised his turkey as Batman and the reward is a wii.

 This little lady disguised her turkey as a flower.

And this turkey is disguised as Santa complete with a sleigh and a reindeer.  His reward was 13 legos.

I just adored how creative my students were with this activity.  It was wonderful to see.  

That pretty much sums up our week so far.  Tomorrow is only a half day of school and then teacher meetings which I will unfortunately be missing since I am sick.  Before I leave I have to share my super cool photo with you....ha!

Are dress pants, gym shoes, and crutches super stylish or what?  {insert eye roll} 

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!  Be sure to check back with me next week as I will be hosting my first giveaway!!


High Five For Friday!

Oh my this has been an exhausting week again for me!  I was put on crutches because I have hurt my foot, but they did not see a fracture so just have to be on crutches until I can bear weight again.  Needless to say, things have been off for me this week and teaching kindergarten on crutches is quite the challenge!

Here is my high five for the week:

1.  coffee......I don't know how I could get through a day without it!

2.  I finished my Holiday Math Centers pack and posted it to TPT last night.  Click on the image to check it out.

3.  I also finished my Elf Yourself Craftivity.  Here is a peek at what the craft will look like.  My daughter is the elf :)

4.  It feels so good to cross some items off my to-do list (i.e. #2 & #3)

5.  I am continuing my Christmas shopping.  It is awesome to know I won't be in a rush trying to find gifts this year!

Happy Friday!  What are your high five for the week?  Link up with Lauren to let us know!

Thanksgiving and Elf Yourself!

First, I want to show you a few things we have been doing this week in my classroom.  Last week we started learning about owls and we just finished up that unit yesterday.  I used Deanna Jump's owl unit for most of the "cute" things I did with owls.  If you haven't seen her unit, you really should check it out {here}.

Today we started on Thanksgiving and turkeys especially.  We made these adorable turkeys from Michelle over at Apples and ABC's.  The students also did a writing project.  It says "Save a turkey!  Eat a ____!"  They turned out just adorable!  I can't wait to hang them outside my room tomorrow.

Ok, now I know it isn't even Thanksgiving, but I wanted to get a jump start on my ideas for December. The wonderful art teacher at our school, Mrs. Gillespie, gave me a fun idea of a project to do with my students.  I am going to "elf" them!  Here is a preview:

I "elfed" my daughter so I could show you just how cute these are going to be.  I also created a writing prompt to go along with these cuties.  For our holiday program, we decorate the gym with art projects from each class.  Every year I do the same one.....Christmas lights.  This year, I am going to hang these in the gym.  I know all our visitors that day are going to fall in love with these.  I am even planning on making a couple extras of my kids to give to their grandparents :)  I mean really who doesn't love an elf!

If you are interested in making this creativity, please click on the image below to head to my TPT store to check it out!  Thanks!


Teaching Tip

Hello everyone!  I am enjoying my day off for Veteran's Day today and I hope you are as well if you were lucky enough to have to the day off.  I am so very thankful to all the Veterans and those currently in the military!  I can't imagine what it is like not only for those experiencing it, but also their families.

I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten for a teaching tip!

I have talked about this before on my blog, but something that has really worked wonders in my classroom is my new voice level chart.  Students are able to understand how loud their voice should be based on who should be able to hear it.  I have four voice levels: no voice, partner voice, team voice, and class voice.  The students totally get it and it has helped with classroom management tremendously.  For example, during my guided reading time, the student not working with are working with a partner at a literacy station.  If the class gets a little too loud all I have to say is "Remember to use your partner voice" and those kiddos are back to whispering as quietly as possible.  I just love it!!!

You can download a copy of my chart by clicking the image below.  Have a great week!!


Thankful Thoughts

I am linking up with Lyndsey at "A Year of Many Firsts" today for Thankful Thoughts.

I am thankful so many things in my life, but here a just a few:

1.  My husband......he is my #1 fan, my supporter, and my rock.  I don't know what I would do without him.

2.  These two cuties.  My life is complete as long as I have my two little ones with me.

3.  I am thankful for my job.  I love being a teacher.  In fact, every since I was five years old this is all I have ever wanted to do with my life is teach!

4.  I am very thankful not only to my family, but also my husband's family.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people not only in my life, but in my children's lives.

My dad and I 

My mom's family
My mom, stepdad, mother-in-law, father-in-law, the kids, hubby, and I at Epcot

5.  I am thankful for my amazing friends and co-workers.

Just a few of my amazing co-workers :)

What are you thankful for?

Friday Freebie

It has been one long week for me!  My husband has been out of town so I have been a single parent for the week.  I have no idea how women or men do single parenting full-time.  I applaud anyone who does because it has been exhausting!

Anyways.......I created a Thanksgiving measurement activity for my math stations and thought I would share it with you!  Click on the image below to head over to my TPT store to download this freebie.  All you need to do is print the cards and recording sheet and give your students some linking cubes.  You can also use something else for the students to measure with, but I chose linking cubes.  Have a great weekend!  Going to go spend some time with the kids and hubby now :)


Thrifty Thursday

As teachers, we end up spending a lot of our own money in our classroom.  It can really add up after awhile.  I have trying to find ways to make or buy things inexpensively to help my checkbook :)

This is one idea I have that I have used every year I have taught.  I take unsharpened pencils and put cute little erasers on the top.  We use these as pointers at our literacy stations.  The kiddos love them!  I have different ones for different times of the year.

I have added a couple new emergent readers to my TPT store.  Click on the images below to check them out :)


Election and Voting

For the first few days of this week, we will be focusing on the election and most importantly voting.  I want my students to understand how important it is to vote.  Many of the parents at our school do not exercise their right to vote.  I am in no way, shape, or form, a political person at all!  But I do feel very strongly about everyone exercising their right to vote!  Here are a couple things we did in the classroom yesterday.

We made a chart about what the students know about voting and it was not a whole lot.

Then we sang our Voting Song many times.  To my surprise, the kids kept singing ALL. DAY. LONG.  At recess, at lunch, during centers, etc.  Then we added the song to our journals, "buttered" popcorn words, and illustrated.

Finally, we read our "Time to Vote" emergent reader, "buttered" popcorn words, and colored the pictures.  The students keep these books in a bag of books which they can read if they finish work early.

Both the "Time to Vote" emergent reader and the Voting Song are in my TPT store.  With the song, I have a republican and democratic ballot for students to use during your class mock election.    If you are interested in either one of these items, please visit my TPT store {here}.  Happy voting everyone!