Monday, November 26, 2012

Liebster Award :-)

In the last few days we were nominated 4 times for the Liebster Award!! Woohoo! We are feeling so special! We are definitely feeling the love!  Thank you to Teach With Laughter, Saddle up for Second Grade, Dots of Fun and iHeartLiteracy for nominating us!  The Liebster Award is designed to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Here are the rules:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.

2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.

3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.

4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.

5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

So, here are 11 random things about us...
We are crazy girls who love to celebrate Dr. Seuss!
1. We love to run! Cristy loves to run and get muddy on adventure runs and Page loves to run in a Tiara!
2. We both have 2 precious little boys!!! They grow too fast!
3.  Page loves to sing, dance and cheer! Cristy... Not so much, but she is working on it!
4. Our jeans are fitting a little too snug! You know it's baby fat! Well, that would be the case if Page's youngest wasn't 2 and Cristy's 6, but that's our story and we're sticking to it :). (Maybe too much yummy desserts over Thanksgiving could really be the culprit!)
5. Cristy loves the Georgia Bulldogs! Can you say number 3 in the BCS? BOOYAH! Page just loves any tailgate!
6. Page just learned to knit cool scarves!! Cristy makes the yummiest cookies and loves to bake!!
7. Cristy speaks Spanish (sort of). Page speaks French (sort of). Hola, Au Revoir.
8. We have each been teaching 17 years! This is our 5th as a dynamic duo!
9. Blogging and TPT have made us better teachers! Sometimes we spend all our earnings from TPT on items from TPT. Can you believe the old stuff we used to give our students and send home for parents to see! Ummm... not cute!! We have raised our standards.
10. Page likes to jump out of planes. Cristy thinks Page is crazy and prefers to just ride in them.
11. It's our first day back after break! Can you say brain fried! Does that count for 11? 

Since we were nominated by 4 wonderful teachers we are going to answer a few questions from each of them.

1. Coke or Pepsi?

Definitely Coke!! Sorry... Pepsi, what's Pepsi?

2. What is one of your favorite shows on TV?'

Cristy likes Walking Dead (Creepy I know, but hubs got me hooked). Page likes Person of Interest (Mr. Reese is HOT (shhhh! don't tell my husband).

3. What "sweet" food can you NOT resist?

Page loves, loves Cristy's beautiful and delicious sugar cookies! Too bad she retired from baking them! Boohoo for Page! Cristy has never met a chocolate that she didn't like!

4. What is your middle name?

Cristy's middle name is Thomas (not her maiden name, her for real middle name). Page's middle name is Page. Ha ha, Monica is my first name, but you better not call me that!!

5. Do you have a pet?

Page had a frog, but it wanted to get out of the tank so bad it committed frogocide. It jumped out of the tank and tried to get to the toilet, but died trying! Poor frog. That's why we don't have pets. Cristy has a pooch named Dixie, a one eared kitty named Scout, and 3 hermit crabs (Hermie-doesn't every one have a crab named Hermie, Tank, and Squeaky)
6. How did you pick your blog name?

That was easy - There are two of us on this wild adventure so it is Kindergarten Squared- 2 times the ideas and 2 times the fun!

7. What is your favorite book?

We both love the Twightlight Series! Shameful we know, but it is what it is!! Cristy is Team Edward! Page is Team Jasper, Jake, Emmet, Edward, Seth... who cares!  They are all cute!

8. Do you intend to "Black Friday"?

Cristy got a late start and all the goodies were gone!! She does love her sleep though! Page just couldn't do it! She took her precious boys and nephews to see Rise of the Guardian (at least I know I am good with 2 boys!) The boys were awesome, but 4 was a chore! Hats off to Moms with lots of kiddos!!

9. How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a teacher?

Page was 21 and had already graduated with a degree in French and Communication! She went the long way to arrive at her destination!! This is where she was meant to be! Just took her longer to find it :). Cristy knew at 7 that she wanted to be a baseball player or a teacher!! Good thing the first thing didn't pan out!

10. What is your favorite children's book?
 We love lots of books but right now we both love Pigeon books by Mo Willems!! They are funny and great to teach persuasive writing!
11. When did you start blogging?
 We began our blogging adventure not too long ago!! Our baby blog was born in August!

Here are our 11 questions for our blogging buddies!
1. Do you use CAFE and Daily 5 for reading? What do you think?
2. What's your favorite Holiday?
3. What's your favorite blog?
4. What is the quirkiest thing about you?
5. What is your favorite grade that you have taught?
6. Knee Socks or Ankle Socks?
7. What's your favorite part of the school day? (Other than 3:30 :)
8. What's the best movie you have seen lately?
9. What's the best vacation you have taken?
10. Do you do number talks?
11. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at school?

Here are the blogs we are nominating:
Don't forget to leave me a link to your blog so we can learn more about you! Hope you enjoyed learning about me!

Thanks again so much to Teach With Laughter, Saddle up for Second Grade, Dots of Fun and iHeartLiteracy  for nominating us!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Huge TPT sale-28% or MORE!

WAHOO!  The super huge, awesome, only happens a few times a year, Teachers Pay Teachers sale is FINALLY here!!!  We have been super busy trying to get some new holiday items in our store, as well as bundle up some of our most popular items for an even bigger discount. 

Please head on over to our store for 20% off EVERY single product, plus enter promo code CMT12 for an extra 10% off the sale price.  That means your total savings will be 28%!!!  

Since several of our bundles are already discounted 20%...that means you are looking at OVER 40% off the regular price!  Can I get another...WAHOO!!! :)

Thanks to Mercedes over at Surfing to Success for the super cute sale sign!  Head on over to her blog for links to other awesome stores participating in the Cyber Monday (plus BONUS Tuesday) sale!!!

Here are some packs you just might want to check out!  Happy Shopping!

And if you are still in the market for some other AWESOME products, be sure and visit these blogs for some more amazing products at even more amazing discounted prices!

Tons of stores are having super sales!  Head over to visit Hilary at Rockin' Teacher Material's  for the "Cyber Sale One Stop Shopping" linky to find almost 200 stores participating in the big sale!  

Terry, over at Terry's Teaching Tidbits, is having her 1st linky EVER!  Let's show her some love and hop on over for a peek at all of the SUPER holiday products that are up for grabs from some awesome sellers during the HUGE sale!

Also, Linda over at Primary Inspiration, had a super idea to have everyone link up with all of their great Christmas products and freebies too!  Head on over to get into the Holiday Spirit!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey!!

This is Page, the Thanksgiving Lover of Kindergarten Squared! Seriously Cristy, I know you are super excited about Christmas, but I needed to share this first!  I guess I was snoozin on my blog responsibilities and you beat me to the punch for sharing about my favorite holiday.

 I am all for Christmas and Hanukkah too, but my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving! I love all the great food and time with family and friends without the pressure of the gift! I love that Thanksgiving is not all about giving and receiving, but just about being thankful for all the great things in your life!

We spend Thanksgiving Day in Adele, Ga at Uncle Mikey's farm riding 4 wheelers, fishing, playing soccer, and various other sports, as well as stuffing our bellies! This year we will even celebrate my lil guy's 2nd birthday with a big cake for dessert!

Look at that Cutie Pie! I can hardly believe that baby is 2! We tried for what seemed like forever to get this precious guy!

Anyway, I know it is too late for our blogging buddies to have Harvest Soup in your classroom, but I wanted to share about the Harvest Soup our classes had before the break.

We spent one morning before the Harvest Soup, making festive costume pieces that of course incorporated Common Core Standards (patterning and counting).
Check out "cutie pie" Joshua and his grandparents (That's Cristy's baby and parents). I know it is hard to tell, but he has a detailed pattern on his headband and necklace. The vest was made from t-shirts dyed by myself (super easy), then cut by a parent and beaded/knotted by the kids. The bracelet is a retelling bracelet where each bead is a cue to retell part of the Thanksgiving story. The kids made the bracelet, necklace and headband during rotations. Each teacher was in charge of one activity. Super fun to get to know all the kindergarten babies :).
Below are the steps that made our Harvest Soup a Success.
1. Decided on a menu. We always have Harvest Soup (Comment and leave your email if you want our recipe), Piki Bread (recipe on the back of Publix Brand Corn Meal), desserts from various parents, homemade butter made by students, and apple juice (Cristy has Sweet Tea and juice boxes).
2. Made a list of all ingredients that were to be requested from students.
3. Made invite and ingredient request form to send home with students.
4. Sent invite home and requested items from students.
5. Had items in the classroom before the day of the feast so teacher could pick up any last minute supplies.
6. On the morning of the feast, our students helped open canned goods, placed all the stew ingredients in the pot and stirred, cut vegetables, made butter, flipped piki bread corn cakes, and wrote about being thankful.
7.  While students were at lunch, teachers set up the tables and place settings. This event was a sit down dinner and required a RSVP. We borrowed tables and chairs from the other kindergarten classes because each class had their soup on a different day.
8. Teacher put together a quick photo story of students cutting veggies, making butter, and flipping piki bread.
9. Parents/ grown ups joined our class at 1:00 pm to watch all of the student preparations and share a delicious feast.
10. While waiting to be served, students and parents wrote what they are thankful for on a leaf cut from paper. The students then hung their leaf on our Thankful tree (a mid sized branch in a vase with tissue paper around it ).

This event is truly loved by all of our kindergartners and parents! It is one of the top 5 events of the year!
Adding stew ingredients to the pot.
cutting veggies!

Shaking heavy whipping cream and a little salt to make butter.

Cristy and her cute son Joshua and husband Marcus :).

Flipping piki bread!

Happy Turkey Day! Would love you hear how you celebrate this special day!

 Which holiday is your favorite?
 Are you on Team Page-- a Thanksgiving Lover! or Team Cristy--- a Christmas Lover!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Freebies for you!

So we are out for Thanksgiving break...but Christmas is already on the brain! 
 I CAN... NOT... WAIT to get my house decorated!!!

  The ONLY reason I haven't already thrown tinsel, sprinkled elf dust, jingled some bells, and displayed my  merriment in general is because...well...I am married to a TURKEY!  

That's right people...a turkey!  My hubs LOVES Thanksgiving best of all and he says my early decorating STEALS his holiday!  The nerve of that man!  I have friends who've had glorious trees, shiny ribbon, and candles all aglow since October 1st I tell you!!!  I am BEHIND people!!!!!!

But alas...only 3 more days....and IT shall begin!  So to keep my Christmas spirit alive...while I am patiently waiting for Turkey day to pass...we have been creating Christmas packs that make me happy.

And happy...people...that's just a good thing!  So here comes some Christmas love your way.  We posted 2 way cute freebies that we hope will help you get your Christmas on!  (Even if you're having to wait on your own turkey to start celebrating!)

We hope you like them!  Please leave us some feedback on TPT or some comments below so we can feel some Christmas love!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

In It to Win It: Kindergarten Mathematicians and Number Talks

Kindergarteners are amazing counters!! We promise FRIENDS that sometimes when we are doing number talks, we feel like we are teaching a bunch of genius mathematicians!! We started the year showing our kiddos dot formations up to six! You know we were subitizing (mentally training our kidddos to visualze items to know how many without counting every object)!! We love that word and we love the amazing number talks we are having with our kiddos.

We progressed gradually from using dot formations and ten frames with numbers 0-20! Having tranined our kiddos to recognize sets of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, etc... has truly gotten us tremendous results.

We would love to give away a flipchart we made to help guide our talks from 11-20. This flipchart works with Activinspire software and really helped guide our talks and helped our students become counting maniacs!!

Just leave us a comment about your number talks or what you think about ours. Don't forget to leave us an email address and we will pull the lucky winner out of a hat. Check out the preview of our flipchart. Let us know what you think.

When our kiddos look at the slide with 11 dots above, we ask them, "How many dots do you see?" Immediately many kiddos shout out 11. We say, "How do you know and what strategy did you use?" Their responses include...
"I see 5 and 5 and that is 10 and one more is 11."
"I see 10 and 1 more is 11."
"I counted by 5s then added 1."
"I counted doubles plus 1."

Numbers 11-20 Counting and Cardinality: Number Talk Guide and Common Core

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winners! and Roll a Turkey FREEBIE!

Happy Sunday bloggy buddies!

Wow!  It was so dang beau-ti-ful here in Georgia today.  After church I had to take a "Sunday Drive"... crisp fall breeze blowing, sun shining, windows down, head out with tongue dangling in the breeze, and all.  I swear, I think on such a gorgeous day I totally get the pooch happiness of an open window!

My (Cristy) oldest kiddo's football team played in the 8 year old Superbowl yesterday.  Let me just tell -was- not- so- pretty.  It brought me to my knees to see my little guy broken-hearted after a big loss!

But let me tell you, there is NOTHING... and I mean NOTHING that an indoor adventure center can't cure!  I took both the boys to a friend's birthday party where there was rock climbing, a bouncy trampoline and wire contraption thingy, air hockey, a SuPeR Slide that I swear they came down so fast that I thought some one was gonna get LAUNCHED!!!

Did I also mention there was an air cannon "Baaaaallllllll-adium"???  6 air cannons, foam balls, targets ( the painted kind on the walls and the live people kind!)...need I say more???

Let me tell you what...that little broken-hearted kiddo MOVED on from his grief in about 3.43345 seconds upon arrival!    I mean...steps 1-12 completed in 1.2 seconds!  Attention span of a gnat, I tell you! :)  THANK GOODNESS!

All that to say that we were SUPPOSED to announce our math pack winners on Friday, but here it is Sunday and all.  I hope we didn't keep you waiting too long!

Our big winners are:

Heather, Amy, and Lori!!!!

Thanks to all of you who left us a comment!  We'll be giving away one of our other products REAL soon.  We just finished up a "Digraph ch Word Work Pack" and a "Counting and Cardinality-Numbers 11-20 Activboard Flipchart" that we plan on giving away!  So please be on the lookout!

In the meantime, we want everyone to get a consolation prize!!!  Woo-hoo!  (We don't like making anyone sad!)  Click here to download our ROLL A TURKEY freebie!  Hope you enjoy the activity.  

Have an awesome week!

P.S.---Did I mention that I am SO gonna take my husband on a field trip to the adventure center!  We are gettin' in that Air Cannon Balladium dealy...and it is ON like DONKEY KONG!!!!  That man is going down I tell you! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teachers Helping Teachers!

Hey Friends!  We are blessed to be dry, safe, and sound here in Georgia, but MANY of our teacher friends are not.  We know so many teachers lost homes, classrooms, and much more during Hurricane Sandy.  Our thoughts and prayers have been sent their way, but we truly wanted to do more. 

 Laurah, over at The ESOL Odyssey, was one of the many teachers affected by the hurricane.  She has come up with a BRILLIANT idea to get much needed teaching resources into the hands of these teachers who lost so much...for FREE!

 Over 150 sellers on TPT have donated over 300 items for teachers affected by Hurricane Sandy to download for free for the next month.  We know many lost so much more than their resources, but we KNOW teachers...and not having WHAT you need WHEN you need it to teach can add so much frustration to an already overloaded situation.  Hopefully...this can take just a little bit off of their plate!  

 We donated our best selling Cruisin' Into Kindergarten:  Back to School Lessons and Activities Mega Pack and our Sight Word Journal and Practice Pack.  Hopefully some teachers can use these to make their teaching lives a bit easier!  

  Please visit Laura's blog

if you would like to donate or if you are a  Hurricane Sandy teacher and you need help!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Leave a comment to win our newest math pack!

Whew! We survived Halloween week!

Time to get back to our regular business! You know...

Math ...that doesn't involve scooping seeds, weighing and measuring pumpkins, and orange festivities in general!

Reading...not including bouncing, rolling, thumpin, bumpin, runaway pumpkin stories!

And writing...all bats, pumpkins, and trick or treating are done!

We do LOVE  Halloween...but these kiddies are OFF...the...CHAIN!!! The -whole -week!

So...back to business!!!

We are just about to start Unit 3 for math.  We have been working on our newest pack for several weeks now.  I know we promised we would have it done by Monday, but it took us until yesterday.  

We are thinking the 2 day sugar coma from all of the Halloween candy we scarfed down like people stranded on an island with NOTHING to eat for years our kiddos ate could have p.o.s.s.i.b.l.y slllllooooowwwwed us down a wee bit!

Anywho...we finally posted it yesterday.  Thank you to all of you awesome followers who have bought BOTH Unit 1 and Unit 2!  We are SOOOOOO thrilled, elated, ecstatic that you like these packs.  We are LOVING them in our own rooms too!

So because we are probably just now coming down off the "sugar", and because you KNOW we like to give stuff away, and just flat out because...

We want to give this new pack away to some of you guys! 

Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.  Be sure and include your email address in case you are the BIG winner!

We'll give the pack away to 3 of our followers!  Let's say you have until Friday to leave us a comment for a chance to win the pack.  We'll do the random generator thingy!

If you blog about our pack /mini-giveaway, please leave that in your comment too.  
We'll count your comment x's 5 for EXTRA chances to win!

We hope you are off the "sugar" too and revving up for turkey time (another wonderful excuse to eat ourselves into an oblivion!)