All things Gingerbread, inspirations and freebies!

I LOVE Gingerbread theme week!! Especially since I've entered the blogging world and have seen so many of your wonderful ideas to inspire!!

We have been reading LOTS of Gingerbread books, but the ones I am focusing for whole group are...

And we are doing this "graphic organizer" idea that I got from Babbling Abby!  This is her example...and I had my intern make me a version, and I must looks pretty darn close! :) But I laminated mine, that way I can write right on it and I don't have to make a new one next year :)

And my kiddos are doing great pointing out the differences even before I ask them!

And today we finished our LOST Gingerbread Man writing activity! They are so stinkin' cute, aren't they?? To see where I got the inspiration for these cute little guys and to get the writing activity, check out this {POST}


 This is how they planned for this writing....we did a Bubble Map, because that's the Thinking map that describes something...then we numbered them according to which ones "go together" in a sentence. We are working on commas this week in our Reading Series, so I incorporated it into our writing. I don't do a lot of the activities from our reading series, but I do stick with the skills that are each week's lessons. 
Then, we took the planning and turned it into our rough draft. I always do each sentence in a different color so they can see that there are actual You know, so they can use periods and capital letters?? lol. I give the Grabber and Conclusion, but I take their ideas that they give me and put into a coherent sentences. lol. They had to change the body to match what their Gingerbread Man looked like. 

We also did our math activity that I got out of Tales of a Teacherista's All About Ginger TpT unit! My kids are always excited when food is involved - and let's face, I am too!! Food is always involved in my room - ha! And's not just because I'm pregnant. They are getting really good at transferring from tally charts to bar graphs - we do A LOT of them in my class...and most of them can interpret the data on their own too!

I mean, look at their faces - so excited to have SODA at school!! Say what??!! hehe

And I even made some math centers that they have been doing - I already posted the Gingerbread Shopping activity (you can check that out HERE). I also had them do a fact family activity....they used their random number generator (aka - deck of cards) to pick their two "parts" and then they figured out their 3rd number. You can download this activity {HERE}.

I also had them do some activities from Live, Laugh, and Love to Learn's Christmas Cookie Math Unit from TpT - I am LOVING this unit..just wish I had time to do it all!

And I'm excited to do some activities from Made for 1st's Gingerbread Man Lit Unit too! So much to do - and not NEARLY enough allotted copies time!!

Ok, I'm off to bake Gingerbread Cookies to go along with our science activity - that was also inspired by Abby! (oh that the sound of Mr. Spouse in the kitchen starting to bake?!! hmmm...better go check up on that -haha!)

Happy Teaching! And remember, I {SUPER PUFFY} heart comments - especially if there's something to snag :)


Feeling Loved and Christmas books!

So today looked like this.....

I mean, how BEE-A-UUUUUU-TEE-FUL is this? It was 70 degrees outside, perfect clear blue sky, and breezy - YES! This is when I am IN LOVE with Florida!

Today was my "surprise" baby shower, given to me by my FAB-U-LOUS 2nd grade team! I just love them! I say it was a surprise because it was....until my friend's daughter who is in our VPK at school runs into me and says, "Miss Jen - they are having a surprise for you today!" hahahaha! I just love her :)
I was really overwhelmed by how everyone came out to help celebrate my daughter (who FINALLY has a name!! She's going to be Brooklynn Wynter). The 2nd child always gets less attention than the first - especially if it's the same gender as the first - because you already have everything you need, right? lol. But my school is SO fabulous! I love them!

Isn't this the cutest?? It was the cake topper :)
 Then, because it was so beautiful outside, we had to go visit Daddy at work - so Autumn got ride "captain" in the fire truck. :)

Ok, now onto the school-related stuff :) Sorry, I just had to share our beautiful weather and how much I love my school!

I {SUPER} LOVE doing book Linkies, and TBA is doing a great one - for Christmas!
Christmas Week

Monday was Favorite Books to use - oops... a little late on that one, but better late than never, right??

I have TONS of books that I use during the month for Christmas...(and Hanukkah too!), I don't know how to narrow it down!
One of my all-time faves is ...
This book teaches the real reason for the season - and I did a cute writing activity with my 3rd graders (when I taught 3rd).

Another of my faves is...

Who DOESN'T love Tacky?? Plus, it gets us geared up for Penguin week in January. :)

To help us for our Reindeer week...

But my author study for Decemeber and January is Jan Brett, so it fits fabulous - especially since this week is Gingerbread Man themed week.....I'm sure y'all have seen the amount of  Christmas and Winter books this awesome author has!! If not, seriously - just google it - or you can go onto her site - she has TONS of stuff on her site. 

These are good ones for Hanukkah..

And I really like using this one - with all of our Hispanic students (plus, I lived in Mexico, speak Spanish, and have a love for the Hispanic cultures.)

These are seriously just a handful of the MOUNDS of books I have ready to put out on Thursday for my kiddos - I'll have to take a picture and post would just take me too long to get all the images from amazon. ha!

Don't forge to go to TBA to take a look at all the other blogs who have linked up with their favorites!
Ready, set...{STALK}! lol

Happy Teaching!


Awards, rants,..and a writing activity..oh my!

Ok...before I go off on my first rant for the day....I want to give a HUGE thanks shout out to a fellow Jennifer over at

She just awarded me the Sunshine Award, along with many other fabulous blogs that I LOVE TO STALK too!! Rowdy is one of my fav blogs - you should check her out!

And as I was typing this post, I got an email that Christine from

Click HERE...I couldn't get her button to work
awarded me the Sunshine Award!! You girls really know how to make a girl smile!! And why do I like these awards so much??? Because they come from fellow bloggers!! Thank you girls!

And to see my list of blogs that I awarded the Sunshine Award to, check out that post {HERE}

Also, I have been asked on my Behavior Management Post, how I keep those cards from getting lost....well, I have these pockets taped to the kids' desks. 

I laminate them and then box tape them to the desk and the index cards fit in them perfectly :) I bought them at our local teacher's store. They last a pretty long time - I might have to go through in the middle of the year and replace some of them. But they're even great for holding bookmarks and such!  :)

Ok, so onto my first rant for the day -
WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY BLOGGER!?!? I KNOW I have started following some of you - I've clicked the "follow me" button on y'alls log, I've copied and pasted your blog link in the "add" box on blogger...but you won't show up!! WHY??? What is going on? I don't like missing your posts...why is this happening...anyone? anyone? Bueller? Bueller? (lol..sorry, I couldn't help it!)

2nd thought -
I did a CUTE CUTE CUTE little gingerbread man today that I got from Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business

Here's what they look like (from her blog)

I haven't taken a picture of ours yet - we did them SLIGHTLY different....
BUT, we are going to tie it into a writing activity! They are going to create a "LOST" poster (you know, like when you lose a puppy??). They had to create their gingerbread man first, so they could describe him in the writing activity.

But...before I give you the writing activity, let me go on ANOTHER Sorry...THIS one just PEEVES me!
So, our budget cuts just astound save jobs, our district has made our art program go EVERY OTHER WEEK! What????? Is art NOT an important part of education??? What's next?? Music? I think I'm so mad over this because I am SO for the arts - I am a "photographer" and a "musician" (I played the tenor sax all through school." The arts are such a MAJOR part of education. My husband, for one - HATED school - and the only reason he was excited about school was because of the art program. AND to top it off, our art is "art on a cart" because we have so many teachers that he had to give up his classroom, which makes "art" education even worse. (Let me clarify here - I am not mad at our school for doing this - we are doing the best we can with the cards with which we were dealt...and with the charter school closing this summer, our school was inundated with new students - we had to hire SO many new teachers!)
The reason I am on this rant today is because my kids had the HARDEST time knowing how to glue the arms and legs on the BACK of the gingerbread man today (you know, so you don't see the "seam")....and how to decorate him (now mind you, I do A LOT of art in my room, because of my passion for it).  I'm sorry...I didn't mean to get on my soapbox, but it is so sad to me that the "arts" have taken a backseat in education. But in my room, I try my hardest to incorporate it into my lessons, but I realize and know that it is SO hard for teachers to incorporate art all the time into their lessons. And do we really need ANOTHER hat to wear??? Ok...I'm finished..for now! lol...Please tell me that there are others out there that feel the same as me! (no seriously...please! I don't feel like I'm all alone

Ok, so for the writing!
After they make their cute little gingerbread man, they are going to do a descriptive writing to find him - I can't wait to show y'all how they turn out!!
Click {HERE} to get a copy - but remember....I {SUPER PUFFY} Heart comments! :)

Happy Teaching!

Gingerbread Man Shopping Freebie!

NOW I've got your attention....the word freebie always does :) Trust me! I'm just as guilty! I outgrew my flashdrive LONG ago (and I've only been blogging for about 2 months!), and I've even had to update my Google Docs (but to be fair to me, I had to up load TONS of "books" which took up TONS of space)....
BUT since I am getting so many freebies from you oh-so-generous teachers (THANK YOU ALL!!!), I feel better about buying even MORE at everyone's TpT store! hahaha! Shhhh!! Don't tell Mr. Spouse! Trust me, my cart is full and ready for my to click "buy" when I get up tomorrow morning (YAY for Cyber Monday sale!! and double YAY for all of y'alls sales to go with it!).

Anyway, moving on to the freebie :)
This week, my theme is Gingerbread Man. One thing my students ALWAYS need practice on is MONEY - bleh!!! WHY, oh, WHY is this so hard?!?! And I only need them to get to a dollar right now...sheesh!
SO, I have created a center for them :) And the best part??? Mr. Spouse made the Gingerbread Man clipart!! oh yeah - getting him sucked into this world too!! hehe :)
I have TWO sets in the file - set 1 is counting money up to a dollar, and set 2 is adding money over a dollar. And there are tags that you can also print up for them to match to the Gingerbread Man if you want to give them that option. AND there's a recording {HERE} to download.  But if you download - PLEASE leave a comment - I {SUPER PUFFY} HEART them! :) as if you couldn't tell by all the commenting I do on y'alls blogs...haha!

That's just one of my activities I have planned for this week..I have others too - some more of my creations :) I'm getting good at this! lol...maybe next year I'll start my own TpT store :) but with me going on maternity leave here soon, I figure my life won't allow for much creations pretty soon....
In addition to some of the things I have created, I have LOTS of great activities out there from y'all!

I have the Christmas Cookies Math Station from Live, Laugh, and Love to Learn

And All About Ginger from Tales of a Teacherista

And that's not even counting all the freebies I have acquired!


Behavior System

Ok, so I thought I'd take a break from the holiday posting and share with you a little bit of how I do my behavior system. I've seen a lot of those clip charts with green on top and such. In fact, a lot of our teachers at our school do it...from Kinder all the way to 6th! Wow!
But I wanted to show you what I do. I learned this from my intern teacher almost 10 years ago...and I've added some things to it that I've liked from others along the way. I have used it for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade!

It started off A LOT differently than what I have it as now...and what made the biggest change???? The fact that my copies were now counted and restricted Being a teacher who is constantly reflecting and evolving her ways....soooo.....Here is what it is now.....

Each week, my students get and index card. They use a ruler to measure out exactly 1" sections - one for each day of the week (look at that - they are using some math skills too!). They label each day of the week on it, and put their name on the back.  Throughout the week, they get stamps for being extra-awesome, or if like the whole class is magically doing something awesome when I look up, then by golly, the whole class gets a stamp on their card!! They can also earn hole-punches...this is for not bringing back their homework, or not behaving properly. With each hole, they earn time off their recess (I know - it's terrible, but it's really the only thing I have to barter with them)

On Friday, we use their cards to earn prizes.

For each day they DON'T have a hole punch, they can get a tab (don't worry, you'll see what a tab is in a few...) AND for each stamp they can earn a tab. The reason I like this system is because even if you don't have a student who likes to shine, but is always doing well, they get a chance to get rewarded at the end of the week too, with all of their days that don't have a hole punch.
So....let's look at some cards from some of my students from last week...

This student got 4 tabs. One for Thursday for not getting any hole punches (Friday doesn't count because we didn't have school), one for the stamp on Wednesday, and two for the two stamps on Thursday. 

This student got TEN tabs...4 for M-Th because there were no hole punches, 2 for the stamps on Wednesday, and 4 for the stamps on Thursday. And if you are wondering...yes, they have to tell me how many's more math added in!

And this student got 6 tabs...1 for M, W, and Th (there are hole punches on T, so no tab for that day!), and then 1 for the stamp on Wednesday, and 2 for the stamps on Th. 

And here is what I mean by Tabs....
 It's just a piece of square paper that they put their number on...all of the tabs go into a bucket, and we "shake, shake, shake!" I pull 10 tabs out....and they get to choose either their job of choice for the next week or a piece of candy...I've done, in previous years, time on the computer (no time for that anymore!), lunch with teacher (can't do that anymore since we have to save all of our closed lunch trays for special times in the year - don't get me started on our cafeteria lady), and reading with our media specialist (she's got classes almost all day now, so that doesn't work either).

Here is how I post them as I pull them....the dots by their numbers show how many times I pull their tab. Then we talk about Probability....How many tabs did you have versus how many times did I pull your tab (type thing).

And here is a shot of how my jobs are's Pinterest inspired. I'm not sure from where because my amazing friend sent me a pic of it and so I created :)

The people who are "off-duty) go on the strip below..and the baggie contains all the numbers that we don't have at that time. We only have 14 students right now - wowwy!! That's REALLY unheard of, but my room has been a revolving door - seriously - in a 2 week span, I gained and lost 4 people (they were the same people too!!)

Ok..did that all make sense?? No?? Let me know if you have any questions!

Holly's Giveaway

Sorry for ANOTHER posting in the same day! eek!! I know, I'm breaking the cardinal rule..but so many fun linkies, awards, and giveaways!!

Holly, over at Crisscross Applesauce is having a giveaway!! She is celebrating hitting the 100 (well, 102-lol, you'll see why) mark!!

 $20 in a giftcard to WHEREVER you want!!

Head on over there to see how you can win!!

I'm NOT thankful Linky!

HAHA! How fun! 
Jennifer (you know...there's a lot of us Jennifers out
...over at  First Grade Blue Skies is hosting a NOT thankful linky

I have listed in an earlier post just SOME of the things I am thankful for (trust me there, there was A LOT MORE!)...
so that has been covered.

There are some things I am NOT thankful for.  
I will limit my list to 5.

1.  clutter....ahhhh!!! And with MY husband and daughter, I have gotten A LOT better with my

2.  slow drivers....I have SERIOUS road when there are two cars side by side preventing me from passing.

3.  people who think "teachers have it made with all their vacations..why are you complaining about your salary???" DON'T get me started!

4.  All the stupid ties and straps on things that you buy in boxes...seriously?? It takes like 30 minutes JUST to open the stupid box, THEN I have to clean up all the ties I had to cut off so my daughter doesn't eat

5. Fine Print!!! stop putting things in fine print!! Just say it - loud and proud! lol...if there's only 1,000 "tickets" available, then make that known - why fine print it?!?!

Ok...that's it.  My top five (that I am thinking of today) 
All this is just in fun..silly humor 
(which has never happened before) lol
Link up below and join in some unthankful fun!

I'm walking on sunshine!!

 You know you started singing (hey...if you know me, you know I can have a song for ANYthing and EVERYthing!! lol)

Thank You to The Teacher's Chatterbox for awarding me the

It really does put a BIG smile on my face when my fellow bloggers give me an award! Especially the ones I love to visit :)

Here are the rules for accepting this award...

1.  Thank the person who gave this award to you, and write a post about it.
2.  Answer the following questions.
3.  Pass the award on to 10-12 fabulous bloggers, link to their blog, and let them know you have awarded them!

ok, so there's NO WAY to only have one answer to all of these sorry! lol

Favorite Color?
RED! But I also love orange and yellow....
this is actually what my wedding bouquet looked like... they're just so pretty!

but I am loving the red and white polka dots coming back in :)

Favorite Animal?
hmmm....does my daughter count for this one??? lol
She IS my little monkey :) or ladybug..whichever I'm she's feeling that day.

No??? Well, then how about this animal...

Our dog Pete is the BEST dog ever!!! I couldn't ask for a better pet - well, if he would stop shedding, THEN he's be numero uno! lol

Favorite Number? about 10-18-08?? The day that my husband and I got married in Jamaica! We had a weddingmoon - and loved it!!

Favorite Drink{s}?

Nothing beats a glass of water...and room temperature, right out of the faucet! lol. I know, that sounds weird. I don't like a lot of bottled-water.

Facebook or Twitter?

Your Passion?

Being a wife and mommy




Giving or Getting Presents?
I LOVE getting presents, but I really love making people happy when I give them presents...

notice the red and white theme??  :)

Favorite Day?
hmmm....I could give you a holiday, but these days, since my family is all spread out around the country, they aren't my most I think I will just pick any day that my family CAN get together :)

Now, I am passing on the Sunshine Award to these bloggers...

Mrs. Bainbridge's Class

Mommy and Me Creations

Click HERE to visit (her button wasn't working when I posted)

First Grade Blue Skies

Fun in First


Sunny Days in Second

IHeart Organizing
She makes me smile with her fuel to help keep my OCD :)

make sure you check these ladies out if you didn't already know them!
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