Spring Winner and Insect Fun!

First of all, thank you to all who entered the Spring Fever giveaway!  I am overwhelmed by your kindness and support in this blogging journey of mine.  :)

Congratulations to our winner:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cindy won some amazing prizes from myself and some of my best blogging buddies!

As some of you may have noticed I am nearing 200 followers.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that almost 200 people would be interested in what I have to say and what I do in my classroom.  I have a fun giveaway in the works for this milestone so be on the lookout for that hopefully soon!

One of the giveaway prizes was my brand new just added to TpT, All About Insect Unit.  {Click on the image to check it out on TpT.}  I will be using this unit the next two weeks in my classroom.

This is 123 page unit has 5 different math centers, a class book template, 2 literacy centers, and lots of graphic organizers and anchor charts for learning all about insects.

I have also updated my Read & Write the Room All Year Long as well as my Stamping Words All Year Long to include insects.  If you have previously purchased either one of these items, please go to My Purchases and download the revised version.  {Click on the images to check out these products on TpT.}

Don't forget about this fun insect freebie either:

Today is the last day for the sale at my TpT store!  Have a great rest of the weekend every one!

Don't forget to enter Kimberly Ann's fabulous 300 follower giveaway!


Five for Friday ~ Spring Break

If you read my blog, you are already aware that I am spring break.  Although I will be back to school next week.  This time off has gone way too fast.  :(  But I am looking forward to seeing all my kinder babies because I do miss them!  

Today I linking with Doodle Bugs Teaching again for Five for Friday!  :)

1.  On Sunday we had a fabulous photographer come to do a lifestyle session at our house.  Basically she took pictures of us doing our normal every day things.  She posted a couple preview pics on Facebook and I have to share because quite frankly every time I see this picture it makes me laugh.

{I am very aware that when my daughter goes on her first date that I will be happy to bring out this photo to show the picture to the lucky guy.....ha!}

2.  Strawberries for breakfast....yum!!!!

3.  We are fortunately/unfortunately doing some home improvement projects while I am on break.  The biggie is replacing my son's ceiling.  Here is what it looks like today.  

Looks like fun right???  By the time I go back to school Tuesday morning, it should be looking back to normal.  This picture was taken right after the hubby pulled down all the old drywall.  

4.  It FINALLY feels like spring here so we spent some time outside.

Unfortunately we couldn't spend too much time outside because.....

5.  My son has been sick most of break and when I took him to the doctor after a few days with a fever we found out he has pneumonia.  He is on meds and now on the mend, but poor guy hasn't been able to enjoy much of his break.  Doctor said he should be feeling better by the end of the weekend just in time to go back to school!  I swear he catches everything!!!  He gets sick so easily.  We give him a multi-vitamin, but I don't know why he gets sick so easily.  Anyone else have a child like this?  

Don't forget to link up.  I love to hear everyone's Five for Friday!  Also, tomorrow is the last day to enter the Spring Fever Giveaway.  Click on the image to go enter the giveaway.

Also, I am joining many other bloggers for a spring sale in my TpT store this weekend.  Time to spring clean that wishlist!  Click on the images below to see who else is having sales.  


Noun Game!

I know I am a little late linking up with this one, but I have been on Spring Break and trying not to spend too much time on the computer.  :)

I am linking up with Latoya from Flying into First Grade for this week's Let's Get Acquainted Linky.  Have you checked out her blog?  If not, you need to do it because it is fabulous!  Click on the image below to head there.

This week's linky is all about nouns.  You name your favorite person, place, thing, and animal.  Sounds like fun right?  Here I go.


I am cheating a bit on my first one.  I can't pick ONE favorite person.  I have to pick THREE:  my husband and my two munchkins.  Without them, my life would not be complete.  They make everyday worthwhile and I love them all more than life itself!


I think is a hard one.  I love spending time at home with my family.  When it is nice out, we try to spend as much time as possible outside.  We also really love the Ozarks.  My aunt and uncle owe a couple cabins on the Lake of the Ozarks so we try to go vacation there as often as we can.  It is just so relaxing and peaceful while we are there.  Just what the doctor ordered.


My favorite thing?  I think this is a very hard one for some reason.  I am going to have to go with my chapstick...ha!  My lips are always dry so I usually have at least three tubes on chapstick with me at any given time.  I keep it in my classroom, in all my different purses, in my car, etc.  I think you get the picture!  My favorite is Maybelline's Baby Lips.  


Since I can't choose a favorite out of my two dogs, I going a different route!  My favorite type of animal is a string ray.  My hubby and I swam with the sting rays on our honeymoon and it was quite the experience.  I will admit I was a little lot scared, but I am so glad we had the opportunity to see these amazing creatures in their natural habit up close and personal.  It is an experience I will never forget!!  

Now it's your turn to link up.  Head on over to Latoya's blog and tell us all about your favorite things.  I can't wait to hear what you say!  :)

What's the Weather?

Last week we learned all about the weather. Unfortunately because of spring break, we had to cram a lot into our week.  Next year I plan on taking two weeks to teach my weather unit.  There was so much that I wanted to do, but just didn't have time to do it.

We started our week by making a web of different types of weather or different weather words.

{Please pardon my terrible handwriting.....this day our "Chit-Chat" message took waaaaay longer than normal so we were in a bit of a rush to do this.}

Then we read a few books about the weather.  Here are a few that we read:

We used Caitlin Clabby's All About Weather Unit this week.  My students absolutely LOVED her literacy centers.  {If you haven't checked out her blog, you NEED to do that by clicking here.}

Here is a friend doing the "Raining Rhymes" center:

This was great because I still have a handful of students who are struggling with rhyming words.

Here is another friend working on the "Reading Rainbow" center:

Students had to match up the CVC word to its picture.  I loved seeing some of my struggling students understand that they can read.  One little friend was shocked that she could figure out all the words and then had a look of pride on her face as I gushed all over her about how proud I was of her!! I don't think that smile left her face all day.  If that isn't what teaching is about, then I don't know what is.  I am smiling for her as I type this.....proud mama moment!!!  :)

Some of her other literacy centers we used were "Sunshine Sentences", "Stormy Syllables", and "Flying Kites".

Throughout the week we read many books about specific types of weather such as lightning, storms, blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, rain, snow, wind, etc.   Each day we would think about what we had learned that day and we would add information our tree map.  This also came from Caitlin's unit.

We also used some of the math centers from Caitlin's unit, but I totally forgot to take pictures of them.  I felt like the week went way too fast.  Although I am not complaining because it means that I am now on Spring Break.  :)  Some of the math centers we used were "Cloudy Day Addition", "Wacky Weather Subtraction", and "Twisting Through Numbers".

I decided that we should make a craft on Friday so we made "April Showers".  {Pardon the ugly sign above our storm clouds.  It is our hallway rules that must be posted and unfortunately it is the only spot I have to hang things in the hallway.}

When the students come back from break we will be creating "May Flowers".  I am working on this right now so keep on the lookout for that freebie to come!!  :)

As I said I am on Spring Break, but yesterday it was SNOWING.  Yep, snowing on spring break.....yuck!  It gave me a bit of Spring Fever so I decided to throw a giveaway.  Giveaways always put me in a good mood!  :)  Click on the picture to head to the giveaway.

I also have a few friends who are having giveaways right now as well.  Click on any of the images to head to their giveaways!!!

When we come back from break, we will be learning about insects.  I have created an insect skip counting freebie.  Click on the image below to head to my TpT store to grab your free copy.

I am off to school....gasp.  I know I should stay away while I am on break, but I have a few things I need to get done.  I am promising myself to only be there for 2 hours tops.  Especially since I am bringing the kiddos with me.  Although they enjoy playing in my classroom while I work.  :)

Do you have Spring Fever?

Well I do!  Especially since there is snow on the ground right now!!!  I mean it's Spring Break.....that means the weather should be Spring-like.

In case you have Spring fever too, I am teaming up with 8 other amazing bloggers to help you get through this "spring fever" with a fabulous giveaway.  The giveaway starts today and runs through midnight on Saturday, March 31st.

Check out these amazing prizes you could win:

{Click on the products to check them out on TpT or the names to check out the blogs.}

Insect Math & Literacy Unit {Brand new product - not posted to TpT yet!} by Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten
Spring Fever Worksheet Bundle by Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindgergarten
Fairy Tale Unit by Kickin' It In Kindergarten
Primer Sight Word Readers by Lovely Literacy & More
Ocean Animals Unit by Keepin' It Kool In Kinderland
Common Core Math Vocabulary Posters by Kinder Krazy
Springtime Math Activities by Love, Live, and Teach
Dino-Families & Syllable Sense by Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten
Butterflies Flutter 'N Write the Room by Fun in Pre-K - 1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to all who enter the giveaway!  I appreciate each and every one of my followers on my blog and TpT store.  Check back tomorrow as I will be posting some freebies as my thank you for being such fabulous people!!!  :)

Five for Friday {Saturday Style}

I'm officially on Spring Break which is awesome!  I was hoping to relax yesterday when I got home from school, but hubby had other plans.  We are in the middle of many, many projects in our house so that is what we did all evening and our plans for today.  I didn't have a chance to link up yesterday with Doodle Bugs Teaching so I am linking up today!

Here are five things from my week:

1.  Ok, I did lie a little bit.  I did get some time to play outside with the kids when I came from work yesterday so it wasn't quite straight to working on house stuff.  Here are a couple pics I snapped.  My daughter is "trying" to roller skate and my son is playing on his scooter.

2.  In my classroom, we made "April Showers" yesterday and when we come back from spring break will make "May Flowers" to go with this.  :)  I let my students make the rain with oil pastels and they loved it.  Isn't it funny how excited they are to use anything but a crayon!

3.  I was walking through the grocery store and I saw this out of the corner of my eye.  I of course had to snap a picture.  My uncle has been involved in plays and musicals since he was young and our family has always had a love for the arts.  When I was young, I would listen to the soundtrack of "Big River" over and over and over again.  There is a song on there titled "The Royal Nonesuch".  As soon as I saw this in the grocery that song was in my head and it hasn't left yet!  I totally blame my uncle and my grandma for exposing me to this fabulous musical.  If you have never heard of it, it is about the adventures of Huck Finn.

4.  Speaking of home improvement projects, it only seems like it has taken about a million years for my hubby to finally put up our closet doors.  (We basically turned two bedrooms into one awhile ago and we haven't had closet doors since that remodel.)  He still needs to put up the trim around them, but at least I have closet doors!  Whoo Hoooo!

5.  Lastly, the kiddos and I had a mid-week dance party.  We just turned on music and danced for a good 45 minutes.  It was a great workout as well as some fun quality time with my kiddos.  I tried to snap a couple pics but they were blurry so I am choosing not to hurt your eyes by posting them.  :)

Well it is off to start working on the house again.  On today's agenda is some mudding, sanding, and painting......doesn't that sound like fun??  Oh well.  Tomorrow we have an absolute amazing photographer coming to do a "lifestyle" session with us.  I am super excited!!

Also, I have a lot of friends who are having some amazing giveaways right now.  Click on the images to head straight to the giveaway.  My fabulous friend Brittany just announced she is planning her awesome 200 follower giveaway so head on over to Lovely, Literacy and More and follow her so you will know about the giveaway once she posts it.  Also, I will be having a giveaway myself early next week so come back and check it out!  :)

Have a great weekend!!!

Spring Break Bucket List

Hi friends!  I know many of you are on spring break right now, but mine starts after two more wake ups. :) One of my cousins used to count down by telling how many more "wake ups" when we were kids.  It's a great way for kids to understand the countdown.  Anyways, I am linking with Brigid from Brigid's Daily Lesson Log for the Spring Break Bucket List Linky.

I think I may have mentioned that the hubby is wanting to get some major home improvement projects done during my spring break.  When I say I major, I mean we are tearing out the ceiling in my son's room and replacing it with new drywall.  We get to do all the taping, mudding, sanding, painting, etc.  We just finished doing this in my daughter's room a few weeks ago and it was NOT fun.  I was really looking forward to relaxing a bit over break.  :(

I still wanted to create a bucket list so I make sure that I do some "me" time.

1.  Get a pedicure {even if it is still cold!}
2.  Exercise in some way EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY!
3.  Read with my kids for at least 30 minutes every day.
4.  Spend quality time with my kids each day of my break.  It seems like my mind has been very busy lately constantly thinking of my to-do lists.  I don't want to worry about those lists and instead I want to just play with my kids!!!
5.  Sleep in at least once!  {I am an early bird and I usually don't sleep in, but I am going to try!!}

There you have it.  My spring break bucket list.  I know it is not very exciting, but it makes me happy!
What's on your Spring Break Bucket List?  Link up and tell us all about it.  I would love to hear what you have on your list!!

Kindergarten Conference Part 2

I know I said last weekend that I would get this post up and running, but unfortunately I was sick most of the week and then with grades and yearbook deadlines looming overhead this post was put on the back burner.  I am sure you all know how that goes.

A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Illinois Kindergarten conference.  Oh...my....word.....It was amazing!  I have never been to such a well put together conference with so many fabulous sessions.  It was hard to choose which sessions to sign up for because they all looked amazing!  I signed up for every session that Deanna Jump and Kim Adsit had available because I just thought I could learn so much from them.  I also attended two sessions from Shari Sloane and one session from Heidi Butkus.  There were a couple other sessions I attended, but they really weren't anything to write home about.

I went to a total of 13 sessions throughout the two days {this is including the Bloggers' Bash on Thursday night}.  I am not going to tell you everything I learned, because that would take days.  I just wanted to share some of my ah-ha moments with you!

My first lightbulb moment was in my very first session where Ms. Deanna Jump was presenting.  It was actually the very first thought I wrote down in my notebook:  ongoing assessments.  Now, you may be thinking well duh!  But basically what she said is why give the students a separate assessment at the end of the quarter.  If during centers you see they are able to understand rhyming words then mark it down.  I have never thought to "assess" the students center work in that way.  I was thinking "Duh, Amanda!" because I should have thought about this sooner.  I am going to spend a few minutes each week now going around while my students are doing center work to check the skills they are able to do independently.  This will be a real time saver when it comes to report card time.

My second lightbulb moments was in my second session with Kim Adsit.  It was titled "Yeehaw!  Wild About Numbers."  Now once again, this may be something you are familiar with, but it was brand new to me:  dot plates.  How have I never heard of dot plates before?  Here is a picture of some of my dot plates that I have started making for my classroom.

Basically, Kim had all these fabulous ways for students to learn many math concepts using these dot plates.  First students start off by showing students a plate with dots and have them make their plate look the same, but the students would use counters.  Next, you want to hold up a plate and you want to students to have instant recognition without counting the dots.  You are building mental images.  Then mix up the colors of the dots and use two colors on one plate instead of one and students need to do the same thing.  Then you progress with harder concepts like more and less, how many more to 5 or 10, and true or false questions: are these equal?  You can then use all of these same activities with five frames, ten frames, and rekenreks.  Kim also showed us how to make our own rekenreks using a piece of card stock, two pipe cleaners, and beads of two colors.  Here is a picture of the one I made during the session.

I plan on starting to do the activities with the dot plates first.  When we come back from spring break, I am going to do these activities for about 5 minutes at the beginning of my math lessons as like a warm up.  I will also have the materials readily available so I could always grab and do the activities if we have five extra minutes sometime during the day.  :)

My third lightbulb moment was basically just Heidi Butkus from Heidisongs.  I had heard of Heidisongs before this session.  I have seen Pinterest pins of Heidisongs, but I had never gone any further than that.  After listening to Heidi speak and seeing some of her fabulous songs, I realized that I needed to do MORE with song in my classroom.  I love teaching with song, but usually used songs for science and social studies content.  I am loving Heidi's sight word songs, letter and sound songs, math songs, etc.  Since coming back from the conference, we have started using some of her math songs during calendar time.  Boy does counting to 100 seem like a lot more fun when we sing and dance while we do it.  She has a great song called "What Comes Next?" which helps students to know which number comes after the 9 numbers like 19,20 or 29, 30.  Singing this song a few times a week has helped my students definitely remember "What Comes Next?".  :)  One more song I want to mention is Heidi's tattling song.  Now when my students start to tattle, I give them the motion she does in the song when she asks "Is it dangerous?  Is someone hurt? Is it an emergency?" and then my students quickly think about whether what they are going to say is a tattle or a tell.  Heidi has all the words and motions to her songs on her website for free.  I am planning on using all her sight word songs for the rest of this year and definitely next year as I introduce the sight words.  I think this will help my class immensely when it comes to sight word recognition.

I will do one last post on the conference in Part 3.....stay tuned!!  Also, I am working a few new TpT items that I am very excited about so check back to hear about those hopefully later in the week!  :)


Leprechauns, Lucky, Freebie, and a Sale!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Warning:  This post is a little long!  Sorry friends, but I have been busy and I am trying to squeeze two posts into one.  You don't mind do you???

Well I am going to be completely honest with you friends.  My class has been bonkers this week.  I mean full out bonkers.  It doesn't help that I was sick with the flu for half the week.  Monday we are doing some serious work on behavior.  Anyways, I just needed to get that out.  Has anyone else had this same problem this week?  It could also be due to the fact that we have one week of school and then spring break.  I think they have a touch of spring fever on top of it all!

Here is a small peek at what we did to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in my classroom.  On Friday morning we completed our chit-chat chart:

We read a few leprechaun and St. Patrick's Day stories.  Of course, we also read "There was an Old Lady who swallowed a Clover."  The Old Lady books are favorites in my classroom.  As soon as I finished reading it the students asked me to read it again.  I love that!!

Then we did a little skittles math.  The sorting page was a freebie on TpT from Ms. Trinh.  You can find it {here}.  I bought the little pre-packaged fun sized skittles for my class so they each had their own and then I didn't have to bag up a bunch of skittles.  :)

They traced each color word with that same color crayon, sorted the skittles by color and then wrote how many of each color in the circle.

Then we used the graph and activity sheet from Deanna Jump's St. Patrick's Day unit to finish up our activity.  You can find that {here}.  We graphed how many of each color we had in our bags then we completed the activity sheet.  They all did a fantastic job.

Then of course we had to eat our skittles to see which color was our favorite!  That was their favorite part......ha!

At lunchtime, I ran into my classroom as soon as I dropped the kids off to lunch and got the room "ready".  When they came back from lunch, the room had been destroyed by Louie the Leprechaun.  Oh NO!!  Here is a little bit of what the kids saw:

Louie left us a message and he left footprints all around the room.  He definitely trashed the place.  The kids favorite was that he hung our ABC caterpillar up from our projector.  He also left us small pieces "gold" around the room for us to find.  You can see a piece of "gold" on the bookshelf in the top right picture.  They were just rocks spray painted gold, but the kids cherished them.  He also left a gold treat to eat......rolos!  Yummy.  One of my favorites.  :)

At the end of the day the students got to take home a baggie filled lucky charms.  On one side of the bag it said "You are my Lucky Charm."  On the other side of the bag it said "Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Love, Mrs. Pauley."  I totally forgot to take a picture of these cute little bags, but I am sure you get the idea!

Now since it is St. Patrick's Day and I am feeling the Luck of the Irish {probably because I am Irish!} I am linking up with fabulous blogging buddy Brittany from Lovely Literacy & More for her Lucky Linky.  {You want to read all the way to the end because there is a freebie for you!}

I love that Brittany captioned all her photos with hashtags so I am going to join in on the fun and do the same.  Here are some reasons why I am feeling lucky!

I am so lucky that I married one of my best friends.  We are the perfect fit for each other and he is the most amazing husband I could ever ask for.  This year we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary.  {No, I'm not that old.....we just got married in our very early 20's}.  He is also a wonderful father to our two perfect kiddos!


Here are my angels dressed up as pirates for a pirate day at our local library.  I just don't think it gets any better than being a mom.  I never knew you could love someone as much as you do your own kids.  They complete my world!

 My mom and I at Disney World this past summer.  We took part in the Epcot Wine Walk.  If you ever go to Disney World, you need to do that!

My daddy and I at my Grandpa's house in TN for his side of the family's reunion.  

My parents are the best.  I am not always agree with them, but I am so lucky and thankful that they both have always been supportive in everything I do.  They are both wonderful grandparents to my kids.

On our Disney trip at Epcot with my in-laws.

Since day 1, my in-laws have treated like I am their own.  It is wonderful.  I am so lucky because I know that no all people get along with their in-laws.  Mine are always looking for out me {especially when the hubby is away or working late, etc.}.  They are also amazing grandparents to not only my kids, but the close to 20 grandkids they do have!  

A couple years ago at Christmas (couldn't find my more recent pic).

This is from my sister's 8th grade graduation party.....about 7 years ago....ha!

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, I am so thankful to call them all my family.  The first is a picture of my mom's family.  The second is a picture of my dad's family.  

 Our two best friends.  Love them both to pieces.

 So thankful I can call my co-workers my friends.  They are all fabulous!  I mean, just look at them!

Sorry this pic is blurry, but I love these ladies too and couldn't leave them out!

I am so lucky to have the world's best blogging buds!  These ladies have been a wonderful support and I just love them all!  I am just going to list a few of them below.   Believe me there are so many wonderful bloggers out there that I can't possibly list them all.  {Click on their names to visit their blogs.}

Are you still reading??  If you are, you are such a good sport and I am so LUCKY to have fabulous followers like you!  I truly thank each and every one of you that reads my blog.  It just makes my heart swell to think about it.  As a big thank you, I am posting a freebie here for you.  

For third quarter, which ended yesterday for us, we have to assess if students can "match sets to 15".  I created this printable to quickly assess the students on this skill.  Click on the image below to grab a copy for yourself.

I am also throwing a sale today in my TPT store.  Click {here} to head there and take advantage of the 20%!