Thursday, August 11, 2016

Preschool Conference 2016

I was lucky enough today to present at an early childhood conference! This is a quick post to provide a link to my hand-out for all the wonderful people that attended the workshop. This is a resource with tons of hands-on ideas to enhance learning!  The resource will be updated in the next week, so be sure to check back for more ideas.
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Click here to get your copy of the resource.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Alphabet Road Race

There is nothing better than watching a child learn through play. Hearing children beg to play with learning games keeps me creating! One of my all time favorites is any game with matchbox cars! I particularly love using interactive mats where kids can practice letter and numeral formation while "driving" along. So. Much. Fun.
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In the olden days, I made these mats with construction paper, white crayon, and lots of cutting. With my trusty clip art and fonts, now I can whip out the mats with the push of a button!
 I love technology. I have to thank KB3Teach for the fantastic Bus Route font. I requested that she create a font that would work for transportation themed mats and this amazing font surpassed all my imaginings!
I love to have materials with lots of options. I like a lot of bang for my buck :)  So, I wanted to make a large and small set of Road Race Letter Mats. 

Use Larger Mats In A Variety Of Ways

Include toy cars to practice letter formation and letter identification.

Include dry erase markers to trace the letters.

Include play dough.

Use Small Cards In A Variety Of Ways

Take with you during transitions to practice letter identification or letter sounds.

Put on a ring and students can trace with fingers, play dough, or dry erase markers.

Include large and small mats in your block center to add a literacy component!

You can pick up my Alphabet At Work pack in my TPT store. I've included both color and black and white for all of the cards, so you can use the option that works best for you!
Want more activities to use with your toy cars?  Check out ZOOM: Addition Center with Dominoes & Dice.
Use the car manipulatives provided or use toy cars. An engaging way to learn and practice addition.
There are also 2 transportation versions of an addition BUMP-like game. Roll 2 dice, find the sum, and drive your car into the parking space with the matching numeral. Get the Back To School edition here

 Get the fun transportation edition here!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Wild About Sharks + Freebie

Get Wild About Sharks With Freebies, Ideas, and Resources

I am completely wild about sharks! Perhaps a little over the top- I brainwashed inspired my daughter to have a shark party for her birthday. Anytime I can fit them in, sharks make an appearance in my everyday life. It was inevitable that sharks would star in my teaching resources... I even have a few shark freebies to share with you!
I can't help it! Sharks are fascinating. They are mysterious, stealthy, fierce, frightening, beautiful and irresistible.
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Fun Shark Facts

#1 Most species of sharks must continuously move to keep breathing. These sharks must keep moving to keep the water flowing through their mouths and over their gills. Imagine a life that required you to be in constant motion.

#2- There is almost nothing older than sharks! Sharks have been on the earth for more than 400 million years.
#3- A great white shark will protect it's eyes by rolling them to the back the head during an attack. This will keep the eyes safe from the animal they are attacking and any debris around them.

#4- Some sharks start using their teeth before they are actually born! They use their teeth to bite their way out of the egg.

Portable Word Walls

My newest shark resource is a Grab & Go pack. The Grab & Go: Portable Word Walls and Little Books is a great way to organize thematic words and to use the picture/word cards for sorting, identifying characteristics, and so much more.
There are 8 different categories in the Grab & Go: Shark Edition. You can use them in a variety of ways.
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  • Put all the thematic words on one metal ring. Store the different thematic rings on your wall or cart (if you are a traveling teacher). Students can use the word rings and place them back on the hook by the label.
  • You can separate the words in the larger category, of Shark Words, into the more specific subcategories. 
  • The more specific categories include: Life Of A Shark, Places Sharks Live, Shark Foods, Types of Sharks, Parts of A Shark, Shark Action, Counting Sharks, and Colors. Use the different sized labels to post on the wall.
  • There are little books for each of the specific categories. 
  • Each book is available in a small, one-cut version, and a larger, no-cut book version. The books are available in color and black & white AND in a traceable and blank version.
  • Students can use the Grab & Go word cards as a resource to label the pictures in the Little Books.


  • Create a binder to hold all of the Grab & Go thematic word walls. Students can use the binder as a reference in their writing.

  • Post each sheet directly on the wall to create an easy thematic word wall.
  • Sort the picture cards in a tabletop or standard pocket chart. 
  • Kids can identify and sort shark characteristics with these free labels: can, have, are. You will also receive differentiated printables. 

More Shark Resources, Freebies, and DIY

  •  Free subtraction shark poem to get kids up and moving. Get it here.


  • Get kids up and moving with a Shark Alphabet Scavenger Hunt. Use the same cards for Memory, putting the alphabet in order, matching upper and lowercase letters, or anything else you can think up!
  • Or use the math version of the Sharks Scavenger Hunt. Kids can move around the room to identify numerals, count ten frames, and addition. Use the cards to create number lines, for sorting, WAR, and so much more!


I hope you found some fun shark activities! If you have any requests, please email me! I am always glad to create something that will really work for you in your classroom!

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