Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I Confess... I Teach Shopping...

... because there is just so much to learn from shopping!

Seriously, there is adding, subtracting, sorting, counting, and tons of problem solving! That's why I think we should all set up a different store each month in our classrooms. Here is my latest store,  a Donut Shop!

Think Outside The Donut Box:

Wouldn't you love to have this in your classroom?
These treats look so real.

I like to browse through the Oriental Trading Company catalog and pick out items that relate to one theme. The people at Oriental Trading Company let me shop for new items for a classroom store. 
This is what I got:

Click to see where I got these. 
I set up a donut shop in my friend's classroom and I introduced the center to her kindergarten students just like I did in my own classroom. I called up 3 students at a time and asked one to be the clerk an two to be the customers. 
I set this up in front of a small bookcase in the home center, but you can also use a single desk.
This is what the back of the bookcase looked like. 

The clerk put on a donut shop cap and, without any prompting from me, asked, "May I help you?" 

Since the children decided that everything in the shop 
was 1 cent, that made adding things up easy. 
I folded the box these treats came in to create a display box. 

As the first child asked for treats, the clerk asked it if was "to go" so the treats could be packed in one of the cute carry out boxes or bags. 

If the donuts were to be eaten here, they were served up on a donut plate. Before we began, we discussed how we were going to pretend to eat the donuts, but that we wouldn't really taste them. 

After each child "bought" some treats using plastic coins, they got to have a turn being the clerk. The 1st thing the clerk needs to do is stock the shelves and they do that with the items they purchased. 
These kids were counting, adding, problem solving,
and using their oral language skills to communicate. 

I was also able to get a cute game from Oriental Tracing Company. It was a lot like Twister, but with a donut theme. 
You could add letters, numbers, or even sight words to these donuts.

We are going to add laminated numbers to the donuts on the spinner so the children can toss a beanbag to the matching number and show it on their Rekenreks. 

Rekenreks are cute counting racks that help children to instantly recognize (or subitize) because they have 5 red beads and 5 white beads so it's easy to recognize amounts such as 6 because you instantly see all 5 red beads and 1 white. 
You can make one row or two.
The pumpkin represents 19.
  10 on the top row and 9 on the bottom.
Click on the Rekenreks to see how to make these with your students. 

Oriental Trading Company also sent me some cute Fun Foam flowers and pony beads so we can make cute Rekenreks and use them as we spin the spinner. You can also use the numbers from 0-5 to create sums with your Rekenreks. 

Did you know that Oriental Trading Company has a TEACHER SUPPLY PAGE

Well, they do and it's filled with so many wonderful classroom supplies at terrific prices. CLICK HERE to see for yourself.
Click the image to see the entire TEACHER SUPPLY PAGE. 

Do YOU have any shopping ideas?

Browse the Oriental Trading catalog and think up new stores you might like to set up in your classroom. You can even set up a pet shop with little stuffed animals, a restaurant, or even a Halloween shop! Leave YOUR ideas in the comments. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Win A "Show & Tell" Apron!!! And... do you know what TimBits are???

I'm so excited to be able to give away a "Show & Tell" Apron!!!  (More on TimBits further down this post.)
Click the image above to see her website & shop. 
Have you seen these amazing aprons by Sandy Welch? Well, check out her website and scroll through the images of her beautiful, made-in-America, colorful, useful, FUN, so incredibly motivating, inspiring, thrilling, aprons! And, did I mention that they come in all kinds of styles from frilly tutu aprons to very manly BBQ style aprons? Well, they do!

Then, enter my Rafflecopter, 
which will go live on Tuesday, October 18
to win one for yourself!

The Rafflecopter will begin on Oct. 18 and will end on Oct. 25.
I'll announce the winner here on this post and also on my Facebook page which you can visit right now, or maybe after you enter the Rafflecopter below.  CLICK HERE to see my Facebook page. 

And, if you attended my professional development in West Virginia* last week, use your "secret code" to get 5 extra entries. If you can't remember the secret code, just ask Ashlee at your district office. She has it! And leave a comment here on this blog just for Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*West Virginia: Where Tim Horton's is alive and well!
I was so excited to see Tim Horton's in the States!
Thank you, West Virginia! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Look At This! DJ Inkers Posted My "Sum Spiders" Math Activity!

And they are having a huge sale!

I made a FUN addition activity that involves composing sums from 2 to 10 using spiders and some cute spider webs.

Click to see the entire set. 

I used these DJ Inkers graphics to create these cuties. Did I mention that they are on sale now?
Click to see the SALE!

You can grab the entire set of "Sum Spiders" which includes a variety of recording sheets so you can differentiate for each child by CLICKING HERE

Click & See!
And you can grab some of the cutest DJ Inkers graphics which are on sale right now by CLICKING HERE

Start Your Science Units With The 5 Senses: Host a Tasting Party!

We had a 5 Senses Tasting Party:

We had FUN tasting sour, salty, sweet, and bitter things.

Each child got a little piece of wax paper with a pinch of salt, sugar, and unsweetened cocoa on it.
They also got a flat toothpick that had been poked into a lemon.

How It Worked:

First, they tasted the sour taste of the lemon by placing the toothpick on the side of their tongue.  That's where you taste sour things most strongly.
A flat toothpick works best for lifting the grains of salt, sugar, and cocoa,
but a round toothpick works fine too.

Next, they used their wet toothpick to pick up a few grains of salt and taste them.

Then, they used their wet toothpick to pick up a few grains of sugar and taste them.

Last, they used their wet toothpick to pick up a few grains of unsweetened cocoa and taste them.  You should have seen their faces!

We used higher level thinking skills:

We talked about how we could make the cocoa taste better and they decided to mix it with the sugar they had left.  They said it now tasted like a candy bar.  :)

We Integrated Writing:

The students illustrated something they like to eat because they enjoy the taste.  While they drew and colored, I asked each child what they were drawing and we determined which taste (sour, salty, sweet, or bitter) their favorite food had.  Then, they copied the food they liked from my sample and how it tasted.  This was one of the 5 pages in our 5 Senses Packet.
This was my sample.  Students wrote with a pencil.  
They dictated, I wrote on lined paper, and they copied.
For T.K., I wrote with a highlighter and they traced over my printing.  

You can find our 5 Senses Pack by clicking HERE.
Click the image

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pool Noodles For Halloween? Two Amazing Ideas That Will Knock Your Socks Off!

 Thanks to Heidi, from Heidi's Songs, for her GrEaT idea:

Use Pool Noodles to create pumpkins!

Each pumpkin was unique!

 What We Did:

1st, I read, Five Little Pumpkins, by Dan Yaccarino.

Click & Grab.

Then, I sliced off a piece of a pool noodle and we used it as a stamp to stamp 5 orange circles on our gate.
It was the 40th day of school, so it was perfect since they looked just like orange zeros!
The pool noodle also created a nice texture when we lifted the paint up off of the paper.

Have you searched "pool noodles" on
Pinterest?  Try it.  You'll be amazed!  :)

How We Did It:

The students cut out a simple gate which was printed on brown construction paper.  You can also just give them 2 long strips of brown construction paper (1" X 10") for the gate rails and 2 short strips (1" X 5") for the gate posts.

They glued their gate to a piece of blue construction paper for a daytime setting or a piece of black construction paper for a nighttime setting.  (A great way to integrate the setting of a story into your project.)

These mouths looked a lot like Ws.
Blue background meant daytime.
We poured a bit of orange tempra on a paper plate and used the slice of the pool noodle to dip into the paint and stamp five pumpkins on the gate.  You can also paint the orange paint onto the pool noodle slice before stamping.

The next day, I gave each child 5 wide mouths that kind of looked like wide Ws.  I made them by stacking 5 pieces of black construction paper cut to 1/2" X 2".  I trimmed the sides so the rectangles looked like trapezoids.

Then I snipped out two triangles from the top and one from the bottom.
Some came out a little wider with 3 triangles cut out of the top and 2 out of the bottom.

These mouths looked wider than a W.
Black background meant it was nighttime.  

I placed the 5 "W" shaped mouths and all of the scraps of triangles on each child's workspace.  They glued the mouths to each of the dried pumpkins and had lots of triangles to create eyes and noses.
I also gave them each a small piece of green construction paper to create five stems or vines.

The entrance to our "TK"
AKA:  The Kingdom!  :)

They also got to glue the poem to the gate.  Don't they look cute on and around my door?

Sets of 5 pumpkins sat on the gates just outside of
"The Kingdom"

I still have the rest of the pool noodle to use for other great projects.
I think I'll do this with the rest of the green pool noodle:

I am so doing this!

If you made "5 Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate," let us know how YOU did it!

Thank you, Heidi, for the great pumpkin idea!  :)

You might also like...
Click & Grab!

Palma :)

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

You Won't Believe How Much FUN Math Can Be! Halloween Themed Math:

This is the perfect time for your students to shop at the Monster Mall!  We met Common Core State Standards in the most un-common way!
Here are some of our monsters and one of our menus.

I started by cutting squares of green construction paper to 7" X 7".

I created some monster pieces (like eyes, noses, scars, hair, necks with bolts, and mouths) and made a menu:
I gathered or made hair, eyes,
noses, mouths, necks, and scars.
I got my craft supplies from Oriental Trading Company. They have wiggle eyes, pom-poms for the noses, yarn for the mouths, and foam sheets for the head, neck, and hair.
Each item on this menu cost one cube.

Then, I called up 4 students at a time and I gave them each 5 cubes, counters, or plastic coins to use as money.
Each of the 4 children I met with used a different
colored set of five cubes so I could keep track of
how many cubes each child gave me.
Each item cost 1 counter, so they did not have enough cubes to buy every item, but they did have enough to buy 5 items.

You can also use any type of counters or coins.

This menu used 1 cent
 instead of 1 cube for each item.  

Some students bought hair, some did not.  The ones who bought hair got to decide if they wanted the hair to point down like bangs or up like spiked hair.

Some bought a scar to use on the side of their monster's face.  Some used the scar as a mouth.

If they bought a yarn mouth, they got to decide if they wanted the mouth to smile or frown.

Each monster looked different from the others, but they all cost 5 cubes.

We put them up in the school showcase.
Our monsters look great in the showcase
along with our stories.

We displayed our menu in the showcase too.
I love how each monster looks different.  
You can add more parts or increase the prices of the items to make it work for your own class. 

I have shopping receipt templates for 3 other stores:  
Meow Mall:  Students shop for parts to decorate their black cats.
Snowman Shop:  Students shop for parts to decorate their snowmen.
Leprechaun Store:  Students shop for parts to decorate their leprechauns.
You can find these receipts and directions here.

And you can get 3 sets of templates to create:
A black cat at the Meow Mall
A snowman at the Snowman Shoppe
A leprechaun at the Leprechaun Store
Click & Grab!

to grab the bundle of all 3 which includes a variety of receipts.

The Common Core State Standards call for real world math.  Shopping is as real as it gets, even at the Monster Mall!  Here are the CCSS covered in this lesson:

  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4a When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4b Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4c Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Leave a comment & share a FUN Halloween activity that you do! 

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Did You Know That DJ Inkers' Blog Has Amazing Ideas For Teachers?

Well, they do & I even have a FREEBIE for YOU!

And they have included two of my recent products on their blog.
You can read more on their blog by 
and then just scroll down to see my ideas along with many more.

My first idea was my Onset Rimes (not rhymes) Flowers:

Click the flower to grab this FREEBIE!

Copy these on card stock, and your students will LOVE spinning the flower petals to create new CVC words. 

You can get 5 of them for FREE, that's 1 for each vowel, by

You can grab the entire set here:
Click the image above to get the entire set.
My Rime Time set was made using 
graphics from 
DJ Inkers' Kids All Year Clipart.
to see the entire set of graphics 
and scroll down to see my Rime Time set 
featured in their "ideas" section. 

My second idea was my Back-to-School Backpack Math:

Click the image to see the entire product. 
This project promotes mental math and oral language.

Each student gets a backpack template to cut out and glue to a paper lunch bag. Working with a few children at a time, give the first child 10 cents and let that child "buy" enough school supplies to total 10 cents without going over 10 cents.  
Click the image to see the entire set. 

After everyone has shopped, they get to meet in a small or whole group setting to discuss their purchases. 

The parts fit nicely in the lunch bag to take home and share with their families. 
You can grab this Backpack Shopping Set by 

You can see the entire blogpost on DJ Inkers' blog by 
and if you scroll down, you will see my backpack project.

My Backpack set was made using 
DJ Inkers Kiddilywinks.
to see the entire set of graphics  
& scroll down after clicking the link 
to see my backpack product 
displayed in their "ideas" section. 

If you are like me, and you love DJ Inkers' graphics, 
check out their website and their blog 
for some really cute ideas for your classroom!