Thursday, December 10, 2015

What an Amazing Day at the SDE GA K Conference!

Oh my word!  We survived our first ever SDE conference as PRESENTERS!!!  Page and I had been basically stressing for oh...I don't know...6, 7, 8 months or so since we received the very first email asking us if we wanted to present!  
We decided to present on Inquiry Based Science and Social Studies since that has become somewhat of a passion for us (not to mention the sweet folks at SDE asked us to pretty please choose a science or social studies topic to present since they were in high demand!).  We have REALLY enjoyed gathering student work samples, video clips, and other resources to build our presentation.
And I tell you...those 8 months flew by and all the sudden December 8th was here and it was TIME people!  Needless to say we were excited freaked out about the conference.  But honestly, all that worry was for nothing!  We had the ABSOLUTE sweetest group of teachers you could ever meet.  They smiled, and nodded right along in support, and played Kahoot! with us, and built Humpty Dumpty a new taller wall that he couldn't climb (for his own safety!!!) during our STEM challenge, and well....they just made us feel so at ease.  And when the presentation was over, they clapped for us!  I kid you not!! They cheered and clapped and ooh-ed and ahh-ed and I believe there was some loud chanting of our names.  (OK- so I made that last part up, but they really DID make us feel so supported!)  We hope they (YOU if you were with us!) had as much fun as we did!
Now of course, we were so focused on the whole presentation that we took like 3 pictures. 3.  We were so focused on presenting and not screwing anything up that we just forgot to take them.  Now if you were with us that day...please, please, please email them to us at the link up top or post them on IG and tag us.  We know you guys took tons of photos of the slides and whatnot.  If you do send us some, we also have NO problem with you editing them first to make us look skinny and maybe a decade younger! ;)
So what exactly did we talk about at this presentation???  Inquiry!  Sweet, sweet inquiry!
Here are a couple of the slides from our presentation to give you an idea of what we covered!

We talked a lot about making sure we allow kiddos to grapple with concepts, to become real thinkers and problem solvers, and most importantly to persevere!  There is a WHOLE LOT of trying and failing before we ever hit SUCCESS... and truly the journey is often times more meaningful than the end result!  Can I get an AMEN!!!
So, here's a BIG thank you to all of you that chose our session at the GA SDE K Conference!  We hope you enjoyed the session and more importantly, that it will positively impact your classroom.  In all of our excitement with surviving the session, we forgot to show you the last slide in our presentation.  Thank you again for sharing your morning with us!
Go get 'em!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's SALE time, BABY!

The Cyber Sale begins TOMORROW!  Here are some last minute STEALS and DEALS that you might like!

This Interactive Sight Word Bundle is a STEAL at a savings of 60%!
Regular Price:  $40.00
Discounted Price:  $24.00
Sale Price:  $19.20
Price with TPT Bonus Discount:  $17.28
This bundle includes 40 pre-primer sight words.  There are flap books, interactive sheets, and 3 levels of "print, fold, and go" emergent readers...for each of the sight words!

This COMPLETE Common Core Kindergarten Math Curriculum Bundle is a DEAL at a savings of 40+%!
Regular Price:  $54.00
Discounted Price:  $45.60
Sale Price:  $36.30
Price with TPT Bonus Discount:  $32.67
This bundle includes a complete unit for each of the major kindergarten math strands: Numbers to 10, Numbers in Base Ten, Geometry, Addition and Subtraction, and Measurement.  Plus it includes a fun Math POP! task card set that gets kiddos up and moving to review ALL of the K math standards!

We have TONS of other bundles you can grab for a savings of 40% or more too like these!

And be sure and check out these great DEALS too...just in time for the Holidays!

 Be sure and enter SMILE at checkout to get your 
bonus discount from TPT!  Happy shopping!
Thanks to Grit.Grind. Teach for this too funny sale banner!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

SDE Georgia K Conference!

We are so excited that we will be heading to Atlanta for the SDE Georgia Kindergarten Conference December 7th and 8th as Peer-To-Peer Presenters!  Woo to the hoo!

This will be our first time presenting for SDE and we are over the moon excited!  We'll be presenting Inquiry Based Science and Social Studies:  Bringing the Content to Life!
We are strong believers in kids driving their own learning and this workshop fits right in.  We'll be sharing the different stages of inquiry, what it looks like in a K classroom, how to assess the learning, and how STEM fits right in.  

If you haven't registered yet, it's not too late!  Head over to Staff Development for Educators and get signed up!  Use PROMO CODE PR10 to save 10% on your tuition!
Be sure and check back here after the conference for some photos, freebies, and tons of conference details.

Please let us know if you'll be joining us in Atlanta, or if you have some burning inquiry questions that we might be able to share our perspective with y'all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

KAHOOT! for the WIN!

Best...lesson...ever! I was practically giddy during the whole thing! I already loved Kahoot! before this, but had really only used it in adult professional learning. I may be just a teensy weensy bit competitive so this little doozie fits my personality like a glove! An "I'm gonna take you down smack talking" kinda glove mind you! If you want my undivided attention in a faculty meeting, just tell me we'll be playing Kahoot! at the end of it...and I'm yours for the next hour!!! Seriously it's just so engaging.

So what took me so long to finally use it with my kiddos???? Well there's the whole device issue! We only have 3 in our room and I just thought it'd be too hard to keep everyone engaged and could I really tell if kids were understanding the concepts we would cover. So I just tucked this little gem into my teacher pocket and waited for the perfect storm.
Enter stage left...the NEW and glorious Chromebook carts! I PUFFY HEART them in so many ways!!!!  Our class has already checked them out twice in the first week and a half since they arrived! We jumped right in with some non-fiction bat research and then kiddos worked with a partner to share bat facts on a Google doc. It was great! I loved it! And, well... They mostly loved it! It was seriously awesome, but I have to be honest and say there were a couple of kiddos that were a teeny bit stressed with all the things they needed to do. It was a little overwhelming for a few of the kiddos.
So I knew if I wanted to keep them on the "OMG...these Chromebooks ROCK" bandwagon, then I better pull out something they were gonna go CRAZY over! In comes KAHOOT!  If I love it, wouldn't they surely love it too? You're dang skippy they do!
I kid you not when I say they were COMPLETELY and TOTALLY 100% engaged for 40 minutes straight! My principal even walked in to ask something and her jaw dropped to the floor. She was so pumped with the whole thing!
So here's the 411! We had read Too Many Pumpkins earlier that morning for our CAFE lesson. We talked about story elements and the kids completed a story map puzzle in their Interactive Reading Notebooks. So later that afternoon we brought in the Chromebook cart. Each kiddo had their own device. Once they logged in, they just entered and they were ready to enter the "game pin".  Now for my part, I just searched the site and found a quiz that some other lovely person had already created. It had 15 comprehension questions for the story. There was a 6 digit game pin and once they entered the #, they were linked to this particular quiz. The kiddos had 20 seconds to enter their answer for each question. Their screen does not show them whether they got it right or wrong until time's up and everyone has entered their answer.  I read the questions and answer choices and we were good to go.  After each question it ranks the top 5 kids' scores. With each question and answer revealed, it again ranks the kids. They LOVED that part and were trying so hard! If they missed questions, we would discuss it or look back in the story and use text evidence to support the correct answer. We hit a TON of standards! The kids were crazy excited and they could absolutely NOT get enough of it! They begged me to play it again before we even closed the  Chromebooks!
Do you see those fist pumps??? Ex--cit--ed!!!
I already have so many ideas swimming around in my head for different quizzes I can create! And I'm thinking I can quickly use the results as a formal assessment to help me build strategy groups. I will just need to do a quick hop around the room and make note of who misses what on a little checklist. So easy and they think they are just having FUN! That a WIN-WIN situation!

So if you haven't given this a it! I promise you will NOT regret it!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The NEW color is here!!  If you follow us, you know I (Cristy) am a HUGE fan of "Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpeners".  I fell in love with those suckers about a year ago when Troy sent me my first one to give it a test drive.  
I was smitten right away.  It doesn't take much doesn't take much! ;)

But truly, this thing rocked!  You see I had had some MAJOR pencil troubles before my 1st little pencil sharpener arrived.

Here's a little bit of the recap from our post a year ago.  Click here to read the WHOLE, WHOLE entire sad story.  There really is more people!!!'s the whole entire sad story.  The #1 pencil sharpening RULE!  You may ONLY sharpen pencils between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:00 am!  NO SHARPENING during the day because ALL that noise makes us want to pull our hair out!

Good rule.  Easy to follow, right?  Not so much!  At least not for 2 of our cutie pies...let's call them Spunky and Sassy (to protect the names of the innocent guilty!)  These 2 cuties managed to make their way to that darn sharpener nearly 100 10 times a day!  And always right when I was giving directions or the principal came in to talk to the kids or myself.  Rrrrrr!  Rrrrr!  Ckkkk! (Those are the horrendous sounds coming from the sharpener if you don't speak the language!)

In their defense, those darn cheap pencils from the warehouse were a pain to sharpen.  The lead kept constantly falling out every time it was sharpened!  The pencil sharpener kept chewing those pencils up like a beaver would a log!  The pencils were like 2 inches short by the time the sharpener worked and the lead stayed in!

Needless to say...I was SAD!!

But NO MORE my more!

Insert heavenly angel music, rainbows, puppies, kittens, and any other happy image here!

Well my story only got better from there.  Once my hot pink little number arrived, our PTA decided they were amazing too and ordered one for every classroom teacher!  Have I mentioned how awesome these people are to us?  So now my hot pink sharpener had a lovely blue partner in pencil sharpening crime!

We were cranking out sharp pencils like the wind I tell you!  We had the prettiest, sharpest pointy pencils you have ever seen.  And maybe what I loved the most is that they STAYED sharpened forever.  It just seems like they last so much longer before needing to be sharpened again.  Can I get an AMEN!

And just when I think my sharpener revolution is over, guess what arrived in the mail a few weeks ago?  The NEWEST color hot off the market...PURPLE!  People, I have triplets!!!!
And just so you can REALLY see what this baby can do...check this out!

So if you are in desperate need of a sanity saving pencil sharpener, then you may just want to check out this newest beauty.  I want to give a HUGE shout out to Troy over at Classroom Friendly Supplies for letting me be one of the 1st people to get to test out the newest color.  Thank you so much!

***DISCLOSURE:    I received a purple pencil sharpener for free to test and review.  All opinions expressed are solely mine.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Favorite DAD!!

Happy Monday friends!! We hope your week is off to a great start!! We are so excited about a book written by one of our own School DADS. 

Yep, I taught this Dad's two boys in kindergarten several years ago! Last year, of course after I left the classroom, this DAD returned to kindergarten because he had written a children's book!! It is a really cool concept!! It is interactive. You can read the story, then color the pictures!! Later you can even write some of your own ideas!! He came back to kindergarten to read to Cristy's class and left all the kiddos a book!! He is awesome!!

Back in the day when he came to Kindergarten for a visit, he would stir the kids up with bumblebee eggs (cool trick in an envelope)!  We loved when he visited KINDERGARTEN!!   My favorite thing he ever said, "After Tarleton's class, I never knew the teacher!"

Show some love for this DAD!! Check out his book !!! Click the image if you want to check i out!!

Thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Little Faculty FUN

So, this is the slack partner of Kindergarten Squared!!! I have been missing in action and Cristy probably about ready to fire me!! 
So what have I been doing?? Mostly trying to get my 4 year old acclimated to pre-k! From the time he was 10 weeks old until last Friday, Brooks stayed with Nana. Let's just say the first day was a mess!!! Luckily he only ran from class once and the principal only had to call my husband once!! Each day has been getting a little better, but we still have Nana on reserve, just in case.!! Keep your fingers crossed we both survive!
My little one resting after running away from pre-k!!
Wish me luck!!
At our first faculty meeting we decided to have a little fun!!! We borrowed a STEM idea from one of our awesome new teachers, Mrs. Hardin. We have a pretty competitive staff so we knew a competition would be great for getting teams working together and having fun!! What was the prize???  Lunch out and the school foots the bill!! Yay!! Well all except for tip and taxes!! Our book keeper keeps us in line!
We challenged each team to stack cups into a tower using a rubber band with strings attached. Each team member had to control a string and no one could use their hands. Unfortunately we did not give very specific instructions. However, in our mind we imagined these super tall towers where each row had one less cup! Of course the kindergarten team in conjunction with out REACH teacher decided to create their own interpretation of a tower.  We sent three teams to lunch!! It was really fun!!

We would love to hear some fun ideas you guys do at your faculty meetings!!! 
Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hallway Displays for BACK TO SCHOOL!

Woot!  Woot!  We survived the 2 weeks of getting our classroom all set-up AND our FIRST DAY of school with the kiddos!  And oh my word....I LOVE them already!  They totally stole my heart.  The mischievous ones right along with the little sweet ones.  We are going to have an entertaining year for sure!  Love them to pieces!

So each year, our whole hall goes ALL OUT to make some super cute hallway displays for back to school.  It's the first thing our new families see as they are coming down the hall to meet us at our Orientation afternoon.  Of course we want to make a great first impression, not to mention we are all a little bit competitive and like to make each other step up our game from year to year! ;)

So here's what we came up with for our display this year!
   So I do have to say I'm pretty darn proud of this.  First off, we came up with the idea COMPLETELY by ourselves.  I mean, that's a pretty big deal...right?  Since Pinterest hit the scene, I mostly just hopped over there and found something.  But this just came to us.  Well...we did have a little help!  Here goes....The adorable lady selling popsicles out of the back of our truck is my bestie and my teaching TA.  We take an annual girls trip with another longtime teaching friend, and we've just added said besties oldest daughter to the mix the last 2 years.  Maggie is 24 so she counts for an adult, plus she keeps us young (I mean...Christie and I are in our mid forties...sometimes naps sound better than late nights out if you know what I mean!)

Anyway, as we were soaking up the sun relaxing on the beach..."When what to our wondering eyes did appear, but an ice cream truck bringing lots of cheer!"  We heard the tunes playing and Maggie and I were both like "Hey, we could do a hall display!"  I mean seriously, do we teachers ever STOP doing the teacher thing...I mean ever...even while relaxing on the beach!!!

So the idea was hatched then and there.  Maggie said she could do her magic on the popsicle creating using her Cameo, Silhouette, or whatever her fancy machine is!  Popsicles...done!  I knew I could use some KG fonts to bust out a cute title.  So all that was left was an ice cream truck design.  That would be easy.  I headed over to TPT and found some cute clip art from Monster Wrangler Mike.  Normally Christie has me print it out, transfers it to a transparency, enlarges it onto the board using an overhead, traces it onto butcher paper, and 10 hours later...VOILA!  But seriously, she was working a part time summer job and wasn't able to help.  Maggie and I have NO PATIENCE for that.  So we did the super fast route of printing out his ice cream truck image, and drawing that sucker freehand on the paper!  I think we kinda rocked that part!
Then we put it all up.  I knew it needed something else...especially a way to show the kid's names.  So I added the "Fogle and Mappin's KINDERGARTEN Ice Cream Truck" sign and put the kiddo's names as "Flavors of the Year".  It was still missing comes my amazing coworkers to save the day.  Meredith, the Pre-K teacher from across the hall, says "Why don't you put your pictures on there?  One of you driving and one of you selling popsicles?"  She's a genius I tell you.  So we took some photos, cut them out...and BAM!  It was finished.  (Unless you count the fact that I was driving a magical truck because I had no steering wheel!  In came another fabulous coworker, Janene, who printed me one and even added it to the display!) DONE! and DONE!

Here are just a few of the other super cute hall displays.  Some of these are original ideas, and some were inspired by Pinterest, but I think they all turned out fantastic!

Here's hoping you find your own inspiration to spruce up those hallways for Back to School.  We hope you each have an amazing year!  Teach on!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

SitSpots Giveaway WINNER!!!

Um...what just happened there?  The giveaway ended Wednesday morning, and then there was a crazy blur of 4 hour PD sessions, hot glue scenarios that involved strings of the stuff falling out of places hot glue should not be, name tag creating, hallway decorating, copying, and other madness otherwise know as "HOLY MOTHER....School Starts THIS FRIDAY and I'm NOT READY!"

Whew!!!!  Now that I actually survived getting my room ready AND our FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL just yesterday, I am finally ready to announce the SitSpots Giveaway Winner!!!  Woot-Woot!

Hundreds of folks entered and we sincerely appreciate every one of you!  If we could, we would so be like Oprah..."SitSpots for YOU, and SitSpots for YOU, and YOU!"  But alas, we teach, so that just ain't happening! ;)  But at least we are able to randomly select (along with the helpful random selector people over at Rafflecopter) one of you to snag this amazing prize!

So here we go...
Sheryl, you are the LUCKY winner!  I'll be emailing you the gift card code for your $50 SitSpots prize!  We truly hope you love these bad boys as much as we do.

And if you don't know too much about SitSpots, but now you're thinking "What are these magical creatures and how do they work?"...then head over to SitSpots to read all about them or our SitSpots Blog Post.

And as an update....We started school yesterday and the kiddos loved them.  They thought they were cool and they thought choosing a color was pretty awesome.  (Side note...I did have ONE friend that considered pulling one should have heard the teeth sucking going on in my room.  If the kids could have shot darts from their eyes...they would have.  Needless to say, he politely smoothed that sucker RIGHT back down!!!!)

And A HUGE THANK YOU to Joyce over at SitSpots for her VERY GENEROUS donation!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I-Pad Air 2 Giveaway...and More!

Oh my word.  Back to School has really gotten here for us.  We had our "Meet the Teacher" visits this afternoon.  I am feeling some serious LOVE for my sweet new littles!

And with all of this back to school planning, decorating, laminating madness...some sweet bloggy friends and I decided we needed to show you all some LOVE!  
Head over to I Teach Kinder, our collaborative blog with ALL things KINDER, and enter this amazing giveaway.  An I-pad Air 2 is pretty amazing all by itself, but there's a whole lot more!  You also win 2 adorable owl cases, a Stylus, and an I-Tunes gift card!

We wish for each of you to have a year that's filled with love, tons of learning, and a classroom full of positivity!  YOU make all the difference in the WORLD!

Good luck and here's to a wonderful year!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

TPT "LOVE Back to School" SALE!

Oh my word!  I love a sale!  I truly and seriously love to save some cash AND score on my favorite finds!  It's time for the annual TPT Back to School sale.  And this just may be my favorite one yet...because,'s all about LOVING what we do!

Here are a couple of items that will be up for grabs when the sale goes live Monday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 4th.  Be sure and use the code BTS15 for an additional 10% savings!

So to take all of the guess work out for you, we've already broken down the savings!  This is our Back To School GALORE for Kinders pack!  This pack is chock full of FUN and ENGAGING activities for Back To School.  You'll find "getting to know you" activities, simple interactive readers, fun 1st day photo props, and more.  You'll snag it all for ONLY $5.76!

You can also find our Back to School GALORE for FIRSTIES pack on sale!

This fun little number can be found in the Back to School Galore Pack too.  But if you just need a quick back to school activity, you can grab this Back To School Keepsake Flapbook by it's self for ONLY $2.16!

Some other GREAT deals include our Interactive Sight Word Flap Books, Readers, and More!  Since this is an already discounted bundle, the savings are even BIGGER!
Regular Price Before Bundling:  $40.00
Bundle Discount: -$16.00
With 20% Sale Discount: -$4.80
With TPT Code BTS15: -$1.92

So take some time, feel some LOVE for Back to School, and head over to our store for some AMAZING DEALS!!!  You're gonna ROCK this year!
Thanks Gabby for the adorable button!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

SitSpots GIVEAWAY! I'm in LOVE!

If you've been following us on Periscope...then you KNOW "I got 99 problems and my rug is one!!!"  We had to pack up EVERYTHING...and I mean EH-VUH-REE-THANG in our rooms at the end of the year.  Our entire school had all the carpet ripped up and shiny new white tile installed in its place. 
Great, right?  Everything's all sparkly and clean.  Except I had a major RUG drama going on.  Our old Lakeshore "spot for everybody" rug was on it's last leg.  I mean, a rug can only be barfed on, peed on, drawn on, and tooted on so many times before it dies a slow and ugly death!!!! ;)
It was past the point of no return.  And alas, the drama didn't end there.  Those bad boys cost upwards of $400 and the funds are just NOT THERE for everyone in our school to get a new rug.  So our sweet admin team found a way to allot each of us a smaller sum to purchase a rug or a class set of carpet tiles that can be carted all over the place and used for a ton of purposes.
I ended up choosing the carpet squares, but that still left me with my RUG DRAMA.  Don't even think those carpet squares can be carted to the front of the room and placed in ANY sort of order that wouldn't tear my nerves slap to pieces.  I mean...the thought of that just makes my stomach twist into knots.  I'm far too OCD in that regard.  I agree with Kristin at The Teeny Tiny Teacher when she said,
"I never did anything except say to my kids over and over and over again . . . Where's your spot?  Which row are you on?  Wait.  I am supposed to have five rows.  It looks like we have six and a half and a couple of islands and possibly a peninsula.  What's going on here?  Last row -- scoot up and join us, I can hardly see you back there!  First row -- scoot back, you're practically on top of me and I cannot breathe For The Love Of Pete Can Everyone Just Sit Where I Assigned Them?!"  

That woman cracks me up y'all!  I totally envision the carpet squares ending up this way when I tell the kids to bring them in.  SOOOO... to solve the rug dilemma...I bought my OWN 8x12 rug from Lowe's for $72 bucks.  Now the tag said it was "charcoal", but once I got it in my room it said "black".  To be honest, I am feeling some serious love for it, but I already know that my teaching partner is going to beat me.  Beat me, I tell you.  My brand new rug is not so good at hiding stuff, what with it being "black - supposed to be charcoal" and all.  I bought a Shark vacuum cleaner to solve that.  Now that woman can vacuum to her heart's content and fall in love with the rug too. But...I digress!!!

So how did I solve the whole "island, peninsula, what kinda order is this"seating dilemma?  I bought SitSpots.   I did y'all!  I really did.  And I swear I believe in my heart that it may just be the best $55 dollars I have ever spent.
They look SO bright and happy on my rug.  EVERYBODY has a spot and this OCD teacher is happy for some order!  AND the best part is the rug and spots came in at just $135 total!  Way better than $400+.  And to be honest, I think it's WAAAAY cuter.  No offense to my old rug, this one just matches my class decor perfectly.  And did I mention I can wash those SitSpots and keep that rug looking beautiful! And did I also mention that this suckers stay put.  You can vacuum right over them with no worries, and you KNOW that will make my teaching partner very happy.  And did I also also mention that they come in all sorts of bright colors and even other shapes like stars and hearts and fish, oh my!'s my JAM!  I am one happy girl!  Now...let's just hope none of my sweet new babies even CONSIDER pulling up 1 of my SPOTS!
And do you remember when I said it was the best $55 I have ever spent?'s YOUR CHANCE for it to be the BEST $50 you DON'T have to spend!  That's right!  You get a chance to win $50 in SitSpots for FREE!  I know, right!!!!
I emailed Joyce over at SitSpots to see if they had any coupon codes going on right now that I could offer to you all.  And that sweet woman, well she did even better.  She said "How about you give a $50 SitSpots gift card code away to a reader!"  And I was all like "Woman, I love you!  Sit Spots are my new JAM and now I get to share them with a bloggy friend". (Or something along those lines...I was so excited who knows what I emailed her!)  It was a happy moment I tell you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
The giveaway will end Wednesday!  Come Thursday might just be the new proud owner of some glorious SitSpots!!!  Good luck!