Central Illinois Tornado Relief Fundraiser

On Sunday, November 17th terrible tornadoes swept through central Illinois leaving many with nothing except the clothes on their backs.  I teamed up with Kyp from Mrs. McLaren's Little Super Heroes and Cindy (Kinder Kay) from Love Those Kinders to create a fundraiser for these victims.  We were overwhelmed with generosity from many amazing bloggers.

We have created many different bundles that will be available tomorrow, December 1st - December 31st in a special TpT store.  All the proceeds will go to the Red Cross specifically designated to the victims of the tornadoes.

With the holiday season upon us, I urge you to give to this fundraiser and while you are at it you will receive many fabulous products.

Click on the image to head to the store.

You will find all these amazing bundles at the store.  (There are multiple of some bundles so look at the product listing to make sure you get the one you want the most!)  You will be able to purchase them starting on December 1st.

Thank you in advance for your help!  Happy Holidays!

Black Friday Sale

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

This was the first time in 8 years that my hubby was actually off on Thanksgiving Day. It was so nice to spend the whole day together as a family.

Do you go out shopping on Black Friday?  I do not. Instead we are going to get our Christmas tree today and decorate the house. 

I am having a Black Friday sale in my TpT store for today only. You can get 20% off all my products today. :)

Here are some of the products on sale. Click on any of the images to head to my store!


Take Me Back Tuesday

I am linking up with Hope King from 2nd Grade Shenanigans for Take Me Back Tuesday.

This post was from last November…..last me forewarn you that last November was not my finest time. I was on crutches and super sick all month.  Doesn't sound like fun does it?  It wasn't, but we did get a lot of learning done that month and my kiddos were helpful with the crutches.

Original post date:  November 20, 2012

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!  

Math Center Organization with Freebies

I like to be organized.  Especially at school.  At home, well that is another story.

I wanted to share with you how I organize my math center storage & rotation.  It is simple and easy!  We teachers love simple and easy right??

Here is my math center rotation board:

The font is from a cupcake for the teacher.  I put the sign in a plastic sheet protector and use colored magnets.  Each table in my room has a color.  Whichever color is next to the center is that table's center for the day.

This is where I store all the math center materials.  I call one student from each table to get the drawer for their table.  They take the drawer to the table and are able to get right to work.

The labels are from my Bright Chevron & Polka Dot Classroom Decor Pack.  

Inside each drawer is all the materials my students will need to complete the center.  Here is my Thanksgiving Measurement Center Freebie.  Click on the image to grab this freebie from TpT.

This is the materials for my Turkey Trot (Counting On) Center.  Click on the image below to download the FREE google doc.

My students are able to get right to work!

At the end of math centers, the same student takes the drawer and puts it back in the cart.  It is easy for students to put the drawer back in the correct place because they are numbered.

During math center time, I pull students and either reteach concepts, challenge them, or just provide some extra support.  Sometimes, I use this time to walk around and assess how my students are doing on the concepts.  This spring I saw Deanna Jump present and she said that she used center time to assess how her students were doing by using the centers they were already doing.  I thought "Duh!  Why didn't I think of that!!"  Ever since then, that is exactly what I do, but some of my math centers don't have recording sheets or it is hard to tell if they understood the concept just from the recording sheet.  (Like a roll & color game)

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Helping Central Illinois

I totally had a post prepared about teaching a math concept, but I decided to post about helping out those in need instead.  On Sunday, November 17th, a tornado swept through central Illinois.  The town of Washington was hit the worst.  Many people lost their homes and all of their personal belongings.  I grew up right outside of Peoria very close to where this devastation occurred.  It really hit home seeing all the news footage of this tragedy.  

I would love to put together a bundle of products that people can purchase.  Their money would go straight to the Red Cross to help the victims of these storms.  I have never done this before so anyone who would be willing to donate, please email me (mrspauleyskindergarten@gmail.com).  Also anyone who has ever done something like this where you are taking monetary donations, if you could help me figure out the logistics I would greatly appreciate it!

I hope to have this ready to go by the end of the week or over the weekend at the latest.  Keep praying for all these people.

Peek at My Week

It has been a very long time since I have been organized enough to link up with the fabulous Mrs. Wills for the Peek at My Week Linky!  But here I am all organized, almost prepped (the last few things are printing as I type), and ready to go for not only this week, but also next week which is only 2 1/2 days for my kiddos.

Without further ado, here are my plans for the week:

You can click on the images to look at my plans in google docs.  The images are clickable so you can head to those products.

As you can see, we will be finishing up our learning on nocturnal animals.  The kinder kids have been having a blast learning about all these animals.  I think skunks have been their favorite so far!

On Wednesday, we are going to start our Thanksgiving unit which will last through next Wednesday.  I plan on using many activities from Elizabeth's November unit.  Have you checked out her blog?  If you haven't you should!  While you are there, you should go ahead and follow her as well as her store because she makes amazing products!  I should know I own most of them!!!  :)

We are continuing writer's workshop with Deanna & Deedee's units.  I am loving how the students are taking control and ownership of their writing.  It is amazing to watch!

On Friday, we are deviating from our normal math lessons to do some math surveys….well actually probably just one.  It will be the first time that they will be doing one where they survey ten friends instead of five.  Wish me luck!!!!  :)


Five for Friday!

Look at me…..I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday ON Friday!  I know I can't believe it either.

We have had a very busy week in kindergarten.

It is almost Thanksgiving so my door needed a little decorating!  Here is our turkey.  I think he turned out pretty good.

We love Heidisongs in our classroom.  We use her songs on a daily basis.  Counting to 100 is a favorite!

This is what one of my kinder babies drew for a word that started with the letter n.  I thought is was awfully clever!!

We made this adorable owl glyphs courtesy of Deanna Jump!

We started learning about Nocturnal Animals this week.  We are primarily using my new unit.  Click on the image to check it out on TpT.  The students are having a blast with the activities.

Here are just a couple of the activities.  There are so many that I haven't been able to capture on camera yet.  I will post more about it this week.


Helpful Hint

I am linking up with the lovely ladies over at Blog Hoppin' with a helpful hint.  At least I find my hint helpful so I hope you will too.

I have always been an early bird and I would always get to school by 7:00 a.m.  I didn't like staying late so I would use my time in the morning to get things together.  Well, my husband recently switched shifts and now I am not able to get to work until about 7:30.  We have to be there by 7:40 so I don't have much time in the mornings.  To help myself out, I decided I needed a checklist of things to do before I leave each day.

I created this:

I put it in a 5x7 frame.  I use a dry erase marker to check off the items once I complete them.  Then I wipe it off for the next day.

Now I know that in the morning everything is ready to go for the day!  It makes me feel prepared and ready to start my day.

Do you have any helpful hints?  I would love to hear them!!

Five for Friday (Saturday Style)

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  Although I do realize that today is Saturday.  My Friday was crazy busy.  You will forgive me right??

#1  One of my students said to my student teacher and I, "I know how to spell a word.  F-R-I-V."  When we asked what it spelled he confidently said, "friv".  I love the confidence of 5 year olds.

#2  Thursday was my wonderful student teacher's last day.  :(  The kids and I miss her already.  She was a wonderful positive person.  She has promised to come back and visit often though!!

#3  We started writer's workshop on Friday.  I am so proud of how well my students are doing with it.  Here are some of their examples.

#4  I am working on a new nocturnal animal unit.  I am hoping to have it finished by the end of the weekend since I plan on using it this week and next.  :)

#5  I live and work in Illinois and I am super excited that the ISBE website now has a scope and sequence chart following the common core standards.  Right now there is only one for math, but I am using it to guide my math instruction for the rest of the school year.  My math centers that I create as well as my math lesson will be done so with this guide in mind.  I am on board with common core and it is nice to have guide as when to teach which skills.  Especially since I am so used to using our current curriculum.  Does your district, school, or state have something like this already in place?


For the beginning of the week, we are focusing on voting.  We started our day with our chit-chat message.

The students shared with a partner what they knew about the president and then they also thought and shared about what they know about voting.

We talked about the word democracy and why our country is a democracy.  I obviously don't get too deep into this topic, but I want the students to understand that we vote and choose who runs our government.

I love using this song I came up with last year to teach about voting and democracy.  We sang it together and then the students put it in their poetry journals.

Later on, we talked about the two main parties….democrat and republican.  I never have candidates' names on the ballots instead I just use the donkey and the elephant to represent the two parties.  Even last year during the presidential election I still just use the parties.  

We then had our own vote.  The students came in and had to check in like you really do when you go to vote.  Then I handed them their ballot, then went and voted and returned it to our ballot box.

When we finished, we created this graph.

 We tallied the votes to figure out who won.  We then had a little mini-lesson on greater than and less than.  I love introducing that topic with a graph.  :)

If you are planning on discussing voting or elections this week, check out these products.  Click on the images to take a closer look.