Hi Friends!  I started this blog back in the summer as a way to share my ideas and to connect with other teachersBlogging is something that I have said for years that I wanted to do and then over the summer I just did it!
 The blogging community is really so amazing and I cannot believe all of the wonderful ideas that I have found through it.  I probably tell my team, "I found this great idea on Instagram" or "This blog I follow had a really neat idea" ALL the time! 
Even though I have only been blogging since July, I feel like I could maybe offer some advice to someone new to blogging or someone considering blogging.  Just remember that I am by noooooo means an expert, but maybe my little blog could give you some ideas!
1. Join Instagram!
Instagram is the most amazing way to connect with other teachers!  It is a great way to see a quick picture and description of an idea.  Often times an Instagram post has a link back to a blog post to find more about the picture.  Many times there is a freebie involved!
2. Don't expect to get thousands of followers overnight!
I think it is so easy to compare yourself to bloggers who have been doing this for years!  Just remember, you have to start somewhere.  I think it is so awesome when bloggers who have thousands of followers follow my blog or follow me on Instagram.  Remember - everyone who starts a blog or joined some type of social media, started with 0 followers.
3. Join linky parties!
Linky parties are a fantastic way to find new blogs and they are FUN!  I find that they help me to blog more oftenSome of the ones that I join are weekly and some are monthly.  I've been participating in a great book study linky which has been like my own little professional development!  Here are some of my favorite linky parties:


4. Comment, Comment, Comment!
Leave meaningful comments on blogs, Instagram, TpT purchases/freebies, etc.  Everyone loves a sweet comment!  I love having an email that tells me that someone has left a comment on my blog post.  And I know we all love seeing an Instagram notification!

5. Use pictures!
Most of us are visual learners so we love seeing pictures!  Pictures are such a great way for readers to see what is happening in your classroom.  If you are a TpT seller in addition to a blogger, pictures of your students using your products are a great way to help promote your product.

6. Support each other!
We are educators and are trying to share our ideas with everyone.  Support each other!!!  Share pictures using a fellow blogger's work in your classroom, email another blogger, comment (back to #5!) on blogs!  Support and collaboration are SUPER important! 

7. Blog your ideas!
Blog about things in your classroom and just about anything fun that your are doing with teaching!  It is YOUR blog and a way for you to document what you are doing!!  Have fun with it!  

8. Schedule posts!
This is something that I need to be better atIf you know your post ahead of time, scheduling your posts is a great choice.  I have done this before with some of the linky parties that I have joined.  However, some blog ideas (like my current one!) just come to you so scheduling a post might not always be the best option for you.  It is just about what works for YOU! 

9. Click the "notify me" button when you comment on another blog!
I don't know why this took me so long to figure out, but if you click the little "notify me" button when you comment on another blog, you will get a notification when other people comment on that post.  This way you can stay involved in the conversation!

Do you have any tips to share with a new blogger??  Leave a comment sharing your tips because I would love to hear your ideas!!
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Happy Saturday everyone!  I wanted to do this post earlier, but I was busy making these...
 And these...
 Mickey and Minnie cupcakes and Hello Kitty cupcakes!!
Now I'm all ready to post about Chapter 7!  Deanna Jump is hosting the book study this week - thank you!!
I love all of the quotes in this book and this was my favorite from this chapter:
"When students use manipulatives over a long period, they make gains in verbalizing their thinking, discussing ideas, taking ownership, and gaining confidence in independently finding answers to problems." (Sebesta & Martin, 2004)
Chapter 7 is called "Manipulatives, Experiments, Labs, and Models", but really should probably be called: "Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Kindergarten."  haha!  Kindergarten is sooooo hands-on which is why I loved this chapter!!

 Here are some of the manipulatives I have in my classroom:
   We are constantly using them for math activities...
Unifix cubes are awesome.
You can find gems like the ones here at the Dollar Store.  They make great manipulatives.
Red and yellow counters are great for math.
We used the magnetic counters from my ten frame magnet set to do this fun leprechaun math activity.
We have been adding to this chart throughout the past week to show what tools can help us add.  Many of the tools listed are manipulatives.
We also LOVE to use food as our math manipulatives...YUMMY!
We used goldfish crackers as our manipulatives to make this goldfish graph.
We were lucky to use Lucky Charms for our manipulatives for this math problem solving activity.
We used m&m's for the dots on the dominoes to help us count and make a yummy domino we could add with and eat!  You can find the recording sheet by clicking here!

 This STEM project involved my students using 100 marshmallows and 100 toothpicks to try to make the tallest tower.  We did this back on the 100th day of school.
When my students created their leprechaun traps earlier this month, they were making models of the plans they had created on paper.  Another fun, hands-on STEM lesson! 
For one of our science units, we discussed the needs of plants and animals.  We did some research prior to this activity by looking at ocean books and ocean videosWe created a model of our learning to show the animals that need to live in the ocean.  Each kindergarten class picked a different habitat and created a model of that habitat.  My class created this ocean habitat model.  You can actually see all of our models in an old blog post by clicking here.
Our current unit we are teaching is maps and globes.  We had the kids create maps of our classroom.  To help them, they used unifix cubes for the objects in the classroom and then were able to trace around the cubes.  The cubes really helped to make the activity hands on for my students. 
Check out a great website for learning about maps by clicking here.  That is where the idea of using cubes to make the map came from.
My big "take away" from this chapter is that I would like to do more science experiments with my students.  Our next science unit is going to be "Forces and Interactions" and I am thinking this will allow for some different experiments and investigations!  
I'm off to check out some of the other amazing bloggers who linked up!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
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Hi Friends!  I'm so happy to be linking back up with Teaching Trio for my Sunday Scoop!  I haven't linked up in for what seems like forever!  

3 things I have to do:
*I have to finish up some of my lesson plans!  Here is a little peek at what we are doing:
Math - We have been working on addition!  My kids are doing really great with it!  I'm planning to use this adorable "Butterfly Addition" freebie from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten - check out her blog for some awesome ideas!  You can find the freebie by clicking the picture below.
Image from http://mrsriccaskindergarten.blogspot.com/
Reading - We are working on comparing information in books and identifying the characters, setting, and events in stories.
Social Studies - Maps and Globes!  My kids are loving this!  The first day we talked about maps and globes, one of my students chose to write about a globe at the "Be an Author" center.  "Be an Author" is just my fancy word for writing center.  
Writing - Information writing!  We have been working on "how to" books.  My kids are writing everything from how to build a snowman to how to make a bowl of ice cream!  Love their ideas!
*I have to fold laundry and clean!!  Already told my husband it will be a busy day of cleaning!
*I have to find something to eat for breakfast!  Since I started typing this, my husband is busy in the kitchen cooking breakfastSo sweet of him! 
2 things I hope to do: 
*I hope to do some spring shopping!  Seems like there are some good sales out there right now.  Plus, I want to check out Target's dollar section and see what they have.
*I hope to work on some report card commentsWhenever I work on comments ahead of time, it definitely helps when I actually sit down to do my report cards!  
1 thing I'm happy to do: 
*I'm happy to link back up with my Sunday Scoop since I haven't linked up in awhile!!
Have a fabulous week everyone!!  
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Happy Weekend!!  So I'm a little late linking up with Chapter 6 of the book study, but better late than never!  (See the humor I tried to put in that!!  haha!)
I figured I would try to do this post in a "Five for Friday" format since I missed that one yesterday too!  So really this is a "Late Book Study Five for Fraturday" post!!!  I'm going to share some of the humorous things I'm already doing in my classroom and some of the things I would like to work on!
If you aren't familiar with the Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites book study, a bunch of fabulous bloggers are hosting link-ups for each chapter and you can join in whenever you want to share about the chapters!  It's a fantastic book that really makes you feel good about what you are already doing in your classroom and gives you some great things to think about adding to your classroom. 
 Thanks Amanda over at One Extra Degree for hosting Chapter 6!
 Thanks Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting Five for Friday each week! 

Chapter 6 of the book study was all about HUMOR!!  hahahahahahaha!!
I love, love, LOVE this quote from the chapter!  I think it is completely true and so important to remember.  I want my students to always be excited about learning and I enjoy celebrating the success of my students.  It is so important to tell our students that we are proud of their accomplishments.
Would you even believe that I JUST started using GoNoodle with my students this year?!?!  I LOVE it and my students LOVE it!  I was doing Zumba with my students yesterday for one of our GoNoodle brain breaks!  Did I look silly...yes!  Did my students love that I was dancing along with the video...yes!  If you do not use GoNoodle with your students, give it a try!
"Tooty Ta" anyone?!?!  Dr. Jean is amazing!  I use her songs on a daily basis in my classroom.  So many of her songs have some sort of humor to them, while helping kids learn a skill.  Here are just some of the songs my students love: "Tooty Ta," "Rise and Shine," "Five Little Monkeys," "Alligator," "Cool Bear Hunt," "Who Let the Letters Out," and "Zero the Hero."  Thank you Dr. Jean for bringing music to our classroom each day!
Photo courtesy of Scholastic
 Read silly books!  I had my St. Patrick's Day books out for my students to read and look at.  When I pulled this book off the shelf the other day to read, I seriously heard little cheers coming from my students of excitement!  I mean just look at the cover!!  It screams funny, laughter, and silliness!!
Something I took away from the chapter that I would like to do more of is sharing jokes with my students.  I think it would be a great idea to have a "Friday Funny" where I could share a joke or riddle with my students.  I think this would be the perfect addition to our calendar routine because we could finish the calendar routines with a "Friday Funny!"
I picked this sign up at the store awhile back and think it is something to remember in your classroom...
Have a wonderful weekend!!!
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