Show Me the Money!

Someday we may not have coins in the US monetary system, but for now there are the four basic coins plus a few more. Did you know the US Mint still makes a 50-cent coin? Our 11-year-old son asked for one at the bank, and the teller found him one and saved it. Apparently, while they are in circulation, they aren’t easy to find.


We used this Dollar*Tree tray to play a simple game I called “Make a Dollar.” Li’l Miss and I played first. We just took turns giving the other person a coin value in 5-cent increments. Once the middle of the tray was $1.00 or more, the person who had just added to it got to keep those coins. Continue reading


3 Million!!!

It is hard to believe that 3 million teachers have found their way to the Teachers Pay Teachers website, but that is exactly what has happened. Whether you go there only for freebies, or you find the high-quality, for-purchase resources meet your students’ needs way better than boring workbooks … you will want to stop by this THURSDAY and FRIDAY for a colossal sale! My entire store will be ON SALE too at 28% off with 20% given by me and an extra 10% off of that by TpT IF you type in PROMO CODE TPT3!


Don’t forget: the SALE IS ON THIS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY!!! Come on and SHOP for resources made BY teachers FOR teachers!!! I’m linking up with Blog Hoppin’ and some other amazing TpT sellers, who will also have their stores on sale later this week!

Elementary Math: 2-Digit Subtraction Lesson and Math Facts Within 20 Mastery

I like math now. I used to think I didn’t like it very much.

Since I’ve been teaching little (and big) people about math, I have come to love it like it.

2-Digit Subtraction with Regrouping

Last week, the 2nd graders and I explored 2-digit subtraction with regrouping. I had held off on this with my 2nd graders, because they haven’t achieved mastery of their addition or subtraction math facts within 20. They do know how to find the answer if they don’t know it right away, but I wanted them to be able to say the answer within seconds on every fact. It just wasn’t happening, though with time and tools (fingers, thinking, abacus, number line, etc.) they could find the correct answer.

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Magnetic Letters: Oh the Possibilities!

Only other teachers can appreciate my LOVE of magnetic letters! 🙂 Seriously, they are so versatile! In this post, I thought I would list some ways we have used them this past semester (yes I might be slightly behind in posting photos from our school days) along with photos of those uses in progress.

Since I have multiple learners at different levels, you will find uses for multiple level learners in this post too! Grab your favorite cup of coffee, tea, soda, water … and be inspired. Oh, and please share in the comments any ways you use magnetic letters.

1). Vowel Pairs


We use our large magnetic board all the time, and one way I’ll use it is just to show my 2nd grade peeps how different vowel blends or pairs can sound the same. They find this frustrating at times and so do I quite frankly (from the teaching side), but there is nothing like being called to come up to the board and try your hand at it (hands-on!) to help their little minds to grasp this concept.

Different letter combinations can say multiple sounds AND different letter combinations can say the SAME sound.

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Game On! and a Giveaway!

If you are a large family or just a group who likes to play games that appeal to multiple ages and abilities, this post might be one to read on to the bottom!

In the spirit of giving I thought it was high time for some giveaways here!


My Teachers Pay Teachers store has a few games in it and some of my most popular have been my BINGO

I have BINGO games for the youngest of learners and older learners too. I will give away ONE copy of each of my FIVE BINGO games from my store. The choices are:

NOUN Bingo


VERB Bingo



FARM Bingo


and my MOST popular BINGO Game … 2D Shapes Bingo!


Please post away if you’d like a set. Let me know which one you’d like and be sure to put a valid email in with your comment (no one but me will be able to see the email addy). The first one to comment for each set will get the one set of their choice. For those who aren’t first to comment, I will have all of my BINGO sets on sale in my store at 10% OFF through December 31st!

If you need something fun and educational to do on these long winter days or even during an indoor recess for your class, these make great resources! The Noun and Verb Bingo boards are completely black-and-white for easy printing, but they look amazing on colored copy stock which is how I printed ours.

Oh and one more gift for my readers: I have a FREE Preposition BINGO game in my store.

You might want to go and download it today! Please let me know how you like it if you download it! I always appreciate feedback on my TpT products.


**GIVEAWAY ends on January 4.**

Making Meaning from Math

I like math because it is useful. I don’t enjoy math though.

But, our little ones love to learn and exercise their math skills with hands-on activities. I have to admit this keeps it interesting, usually results in greater meaning for them, and it allows me to see exactly what they know regarding math fundamentals.

Here are some recent math lessons with a hands-on approach:

Skip counting with ice cream cones


You can grab this great freebie at Krista Wallden’s TpT store!

Numbers 11–20 Review in 10 Different Ways


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SHAPES Freebie!


This FREEBIE has been in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a long time, but I recently updated it due to some customer requests. After an appearance in the TpT Sunday FREEBIES Newsletter, it has been downloaded a LOT and the feedback has been positive. I wanted to be sure all of my blog readers knew about it and also that anyone who has it might want to download the updated version, which includes 3 new shapes: cone, hexagon and octagon!


We use this a LOT in our homeschool, particularly my three-year-old, but it is so versatile you can use it with many ages and abilities. It has a self-correcting version of shapes names as well as two more versions that require your students to read and decipher which name matches which shape.


As for that TpT Sunday FREEBIE newsletter, you might want to sign up for that if you are not already on the e-blast distribution for it (scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email in the box at bottom left). It comes out almost every Sunday of the year, and always includes 10 FREE downloads available at Teachers Pay Teachers. If you haven’t stopped by my store lately, why not come by and check out my FREEBIES or my recently uploaded products? I’d love to have you visit!

Throughout 2013, I am giving 10% of all net sales from my TpT store to the Love Without Boundaries Unity Fund.

Please know that for every purchase through my TpT store, you will be directly helping children in China to NOT become orphaned and to have the blessing of staying with their birth families, and you will be helping those families who find themselves in a desperate and seemingly hopeless situation with an ill child for whom they have no means to provide medical care. You can help make a difference!