Monday, November 30, 2015

This will bring a smile to your face!

Something to SMILE about:

I'm here in Minnesota and I'm ready to present 8 sessions at the 2015 Conference for Minnesota Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Teachers!  But I almost didn't make it!  

Well, I made it, but my luggage didn't. Yep, the luggage with about 50 pounds of samples to set out for teachers to see, the luggage with the new red dress that has long sleeves and the boots that I bought especially for traveling to such cold states such as Minnesota, the luggage with all of my clothing and make-up! Yep, that's it! 

I checked the luggage in at Burbank airport and they promised it would make it to Denver and then on to Minnesota, but someone did not see the big, giant letters MSP on an entire truck filled with luggage! Yep, there was an angry crown at the airport. We all filled in the paperwork and prayed that our luggage would make it to Minnesota soon since it was still in Denver!

Well, it didn't arrive until 11:00 PM and that's when I started setting up my presentation room. I finished at 1:30 AM and then I still had to iron my new red dress, write this post, and advertise my Cyber Monday sale.

Did I just say I was having a Cyber Monday sale? You bet! And you can save 28% by using the code SMILE during check out!  You can click on the image below or RIGHT HERE to view my sale. 
Click on the image to see my sale!

So if you are at the Minnesota conference, leave a comment below and I'll be sharing a surprise with you all on Dec. 7!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Discounts We Can All Be Thankful For!

A Thankful Time of Year:

Just reflecting on all we have to be thankful for. 
Although I miss teaching my "Littles" 
I'm so thankful for the opportunity to  present workshops  
to teachers all over the country.

This is where I'll be at the end of Nov. and beginning of Dec.
Click on the map and use the code: PR10 for 10% off!

Click the image to see all of the SDE events and use your promo code. 

My Thanksgiving gift to all of my followers is 

Click the image to see everything that's on sale this Thanksgiving weekend.

I hope you are enjoying time with your family and friends.
We are vacationing in a cabin in the snow.
Enjoying great food, great people, and all that nature has provided for us!

Where are you spending your Thanksgiving and what's the weather like?

Monday, November 16, 2015

I'm At The SDE Kindergarten Conference in Brea, CA!

Are you here too?

Congratulations to the winner of a "Show and Tell" apron!
Diane Moore
Show and Tell Aprons will contact you soon to see which apron you would like.
Visit their web site by CLICKING HERE so you can pick out your favorite apron.
Congratulations, Diane!
I hope you use your apron EVERY SINGLE DAY just like me!

I wore my "Show & Tell" apron at every session!
If you want one too, you can check them out by clicking on the picture.

You can also click 
to get more info on these aprons 
and the learning cards that go with them.

You can find lots of my templates on my TpT Store.
Just click on the image. 

Let me know, by leaving a comment,  if you attended ANY of my sessions today. Let me know something that you liked. 

And if you haven't attended one of my eight sessions yet, there is still tomorrow. I hope I see you tomorrow. Remember to come back here and leave a comment.

I'm giving away eight more 1-year subscriptions worth $199 each!
Click the image for more info.

And if you don't win one, you can still get $40 off by using the code:
when you register at 

Click the image to see all of the products in  my TpT store.

And... I'm also giving away four sets of Sit Spots 
along with a $25 gift certificate, 
that goes with each set, to use to purchase more Sit Spots. 
You can check out Sit Spots by CLICKING HERE.

Click the image for more info.

Once you have attended one of my sessions, leave a comment and let me know what you liked.
My friend, Kimberly Jordano, was also presenting today.
Doesn't she look GREAT even after a long day?
You can find my FREE school bus pieces by CLICKING HERE.

The attendees have been super friendly and I'm having a blast presenting!

REMEMBER TO LEAVE A COMMENT and let me know about something you liked from one of my sessions. (wink, wink)  :o)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oh Say, Can You See Me???

I sure hope so! Find out how:

I'm super excited to be presenting lots of sessions for pre-school, pre-K, T.K, Kindergarten, and 1st grade teachers across the country! Check out where I'll be during Nov. and Dec. and try to catch one or more of my sessions.

Nov. 16-17:  Brea, California-
Click the map for more info about this conference in California.
My sessions-
Addition Magician, Subtraction Reaction (Make & Take)
Descriptive, Informative, Opinion, & Narrative Writing in K? Absolutely!
How to bring back "Play" into your busy TK or K day
Close Reading in K
Emergent Reading: Climb Aboard the Literacy Train!
Math & Art, Together At Last!
Building Vocabulary & Literacy for Your ELLs:  Best Practices
It's a Great Day for Science!


Nov. 30-Dec. 1:  Bloomington, Minnesota- 
Click the map for more info about this conference in Minnesota.

My sessions-

Integrating Curriculum: Work Smarter, not Harder
Emergent Reading: Climb Aboard the Literacy Train!
Shop Your Way Through common Core Math
How To Bring Back "Play" into your busy day
Don't Wait! Early Intervention Strategies for Struggling Learners
Close reading: Digging Deeper
Emergent Writers: Create Confident Writers


Dec 3-4:  Nashua, New Hampshire-
Click the map for more info about this conference in New Hampshire.

My sessions-

Nurturing Emergent Writers
The Amazing Classroom
Addition Magician, Subtraction Reaction
It's a Great Day for Science
Close Reading: Digging Deeper
Writing in K: Descriptive, Informative, Opinion, & Narrative


Will you be at one of my sessions? 
Let me know in the comments.
I hope to see you at one of 
my upcoming conferences.
I'll post my 2016 schedule soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

6 Secrets For The BEST Thanksgiving Feast EVER!

You Can Totally Do This!

Just follow our 6 SECRET TIPS and check out the CCSS for each station:

You can have the greatest Thanksgiving Feast Ever and it's soooo SIMPLE!

A few years ago, we had so much fun learning & making food for our Thanksgiving feast!
Yes, Common Core can be a huge part of your feast!

First, we planned our special day:

I made a list of all of the things we needed to make these  simple food items on our menu:  Corn muffins, butter,  fruit salad, and apple juice.

 Our Menu

Cornbread cooked right in these paper cups!
Use an electric frying pan.  Just be sure to use the cups with an
airspace at the bottom.  No flat bottom cups allowed!

 Butter forms faster if you
don't use a plastic container. 
(You can see the yellow clump of butter
forming in the jar and the buttermilk
all around it.)

Don't peel the oranges.  Slice them
crosswise so students can remove the
peel and cut the orange.  If you give them
sections of the orange, the knife doesn't
cut the sections well & they get smashed.

You can bring in a juicer so the children can actually
juice their own apples, or you can just serve bottled apple juice.
Let them try unfiltered apple juice this year.   :)

Each child brought home a note requesting one item for our feast.  Be sure to request items to arrive the day before you need them.  For a class of 30 you will need the following items:
(I always request organic produce & cream from cows that were not given hormones.)

1 pint of heavy whipping cream (liquid) (2 children can each bring in in 1 cup)
3 packages of Marie Callender's Cornbread mix (3 children can each bring in 1 package)
1 quart bottle of filtered water
For all of the fruit, each child brings in 1 piece, 1 bunch, or 1 basket)
2 apple
2 oranges
2 bananas
1 basket of strawberries
1 basket of raspberries
1 basket of blackberries
1 basket of blueberries
2 kiwis
2 pears
1 pomegranate
1 can of pineapple chunks
1 small bunch of green, purple, or red grapes
40 paper plates
30 napkins
30 plastic spoons
10 plastic knives
60 Dixie cups (5 oz size with an airspace at the bottom) (30 for juice, 30 for cornbread)
3 lg bottle of apple juice (or 30 more apples if you plan to juice them)

(10 of the plates and the 10 plastic knives are for cutting fruit.)

Feast Day:

Before the students arrive prepare the following:

Station 1:  FRUIT SALAD

Wash all of the fruit
Set out 10 paper plates and 10 plastic knives for cutting fruit
Set out a large plastic bowl to collect all of the cut up fruit.
Crack open the pomegranate.  Children will only remove the pieces.
Chop, chop, chop!

Station 2:  CORN MUFFINS

Set up an electric frying pan in a safe place (like the teachers' staff room)
Set out 5 oz paper cups (the kind w/ the airspace at the bottom. It's OK if they have wax on them.)
Marie Callender corn bread mix 
1 quart of filtered water
1 Tablespoon measuring spoon to measure dry mix
1 Tablespoon measuring spoon to measure the water
10 popsicle sticks for stirring
1 pencil
A tray to transport the cups to the room where they will cook.
These are real "cup" cakes!  

Station 3:  BUTTER

4 pint size mason jars
Set the heavy whipped cream out so it is room temperature when the children start to shake it.
A small bowl, a dish for serving, and a spoon.

Apple Juice: If you plan to serve bottled juice, just refrigerate it.  If you plan to juice, set up station 4 where children get to toss apple slices into the juicer and watch it juice the fruit.  

I ran 3 rotations for 20 minutes each: (If juicing apples, run 4 stations for 15 min. each.)

Each station will need one parent or aide to run the station and you will need an adult to take the corn muffins to the room where they will cook.

Station 1.  FRUIT SALAD

Common Core:  CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.B.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

Students wash and dry their hands.
The adult gives each child pieces of fruit to dice with their plastic knives.  (Give students slices of  apples and pears to chop, a chunk of a banana, a few berries, etc.)
The plates and knives can be re-used by the next two groups.  
I put out a book for the adult to read to the group if they finish early.
                                                                                                              Fine motor skills!

Making sets of cut fruit!  

Station 2:  CORN MUFFINS 

Common Core:  CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute.

(Have an adult pre-heat your electric frying pan to the level indicated on the corn muffin package.)
Students wash their hands and the adult writes each child's name on the bottom of his/her cup.
Each students measures 2 T of corn bread mix into their cup (using the popsicle stick to level off the tablespoon) and 3 T of water.  They mix with their popsicle stick.
The adult sends the cups to the room where they will cook.  15 cups can fit in a normal size electric frying pan.  You DO NOT add any water to the pan.  Simply set the temperature to the level designated on the package it becomes an oven.  Place the cups inside, place the lid on top, and bake as normal. 
I place an activity or a book out for the adult to read to the group if they finish early.
Stirring the corn bread mixture.

Station 3:  BUTTER

Common Core:  

Pour 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream into each of the 4 mason jars.  Make sure the lids are on tightly and that your group will be working in a carpeted area, no hard floors.  One jar will be the demo jar and  each one of the other jars will be for each group.
Demonstrate how to hold the jar with BOTH HANDS and shake it.
Students take turns shaking the jar and counting the shakes until the liquid becomes thick and coats the inside of the jar.
They continue to shake the jar (continue to count from the last number counted by the last student until you reach 100, then start counting again) until they can't hear the liquid any longer because it has turned into whipped cream.  
They continue to shake the jar until they hear a "clump, clump" and a "swish, swish!"  They will hear the clump of butter hitting the inside of the jar as they shake it and they will hear the buttermilk swishing.  They will also see how the white cream is turning into a yellow clump surrounded by white milk.  
They continue to shake the jar until the clump gets bigger and the buttermilk gets thinner.  
Pour the butter and buttermilk into a bowl and let the children see the yellow clump of butter in the buttermilk.  
Pour off the buttermilk into the sink and "rinse" the butter with water, pressing the back of a spoon into the butter to push out all of the buttermilk until the water runs clear.
Spoon the butter onto a serving plate.
I put out an activity (like illustrating the detail of their handprint turkey) or a book for the adult to read to them until their group time is over.

We usually go out to recess after the 3 rotations are done.  While they are gone, the volunteers put the students' costumes on their chairs and set the food on a serving table.
Shaking the cream.
Use two hands!

Our volunteer demonstrating how to shake the jar with 2 hands.

Station 4:  Optional Apple Juicing

Common Core:  

    • 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.
Students wash their hands and place a few slices of apples into the juicer.  They count as they place the slices into the juicer to understand that the last number names the number of slices placed in the juicer.  Vary the number of slices you give to each student.  They watch as the juice trickles into the bowl.  The adult reads them a story (usually a book filled with informational text about how apples grow) and they color a Thanksgiving Feast page.  


Time to Feast!

When the students come in from recess, I read a story while the adult volunteers help small groups of students put their costumes on.  Each group goes up to the serving table to get their cornbread muffin (their names are on the bottom of each cup), a bit of homemade butter, a scoop of fruit salad, and some apple juice.  What fun!


Before punching the holes for the yarn on the collars, place a piece of tape on the collar, then punch the hole.  This will reinforce the hole and prevent tearing.  
Last year, we mixed a non-dairy topping
into the fruit salad.  You can find a healthier one than Cool Whip at stores like Whole Foods. 

The days before our feast, we made our pilgrim collars and hats with 12"X18" construction paper.
Our Native American vests were made from grocery bags.


Use 9" X 13" paper doilies (you can find them at Michael's) for the front of the girls' collars.  They are just like the boys' collars, except they tie in the back with white yarn.  So cute!

A good time was had by all!

You got all the way down here!  Wow!

Leave a comment and tell me how YOU celebrate Thanksgiving in your classroom.

Secret Tip # 6:

If you live in So Cal, you will want to catch
SDE's Kindergarten Conference.
You may attend one or two days.
And guess who will be presenting there?
Along with a few other amazing educators!

Click on the image for more info.