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Unicorn Ten-Frame and Number Cards FREEBIE!

CALLING ALL TEACHER LOVERS OF UNICORNS, TARGET, AND FREEBIES! This one is for you

Who recently has been to Target and spent half, if not your entire paycheck there?  All my money is spent no less than 20 steps into the store, the black hole of a primary teachers paycheck: The Dollar Spot. No, I don't need 3 sets of every seasonal mini eraser in stock, BUT I'M GONNA BUY THEM!

This month they had the most magical mini erasers of all time: UNICORNS! MY FAVORITE! I scooped up about 3 (or maybe more) sets of 60 mini unicorn erasers and ran right home to create this fun math activity for my kinder kiddos.


This math activity focuses on counting, number sense, and ten-frame practice. This resource is PERFECT for small group instruction or independent work. Easy peasy lemon squeezy math center!

Directions:
Run to the nearest Target and buy the mini unicorn erasers located in the Dollar Spot. Can’t find unicorn erasers? Use any mini erasers, craft gems, shiny pebbles, whatever your teacher heart desires to use an counting manipulatives!

Print, laminate and cut out the unicorn number cards and ten frame mat. Print out as many copies as you need for your students.

Students choose a number card and show that many on the ten-frame using the mini unicorn erasers.

Other activity suggestions:
When students choose a number, ask them how many is one/two more or one/two less, then show that number on the ten-frame.

Have students roll a die and show that number on the ten-frames using the unicorn erasers.

Don't want to buy mini erasers?  Laminate the ten-frame mat and have students draw counters using a dry-erase marker or crayon.

Click on the link to get you FREE Unicorn Ten-Frame Mat and Number Card Math Activity!


I also have other ten-frame activities for those millions of mini-erasers we probably have stored in our classroom supply closet. You know you have them, so now you have no reason not to use them! Check them out in my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop! Thanks for stopping by!

Emoji Ten-Frame Mats


Glitter Ten-Frame Cards


Part-Part-Whole Addition Work Mats


Valentine's Day Glitter Ten-Frames



Best wishes,

October = Halloween EVERYDAY!

Halloween is my FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER! The ghosts, goblins, black cats and witch hats, I LIVE FOR IT!  In my kindergarten class, we do Halloween activities and crafts all month long! Yes, you read that correctly.  Fun Friday projects in October are ALL Halloween related.  I wanted to share with you a class favorite that we've been doing the last two years.

Have you heard of the story “The Ghost’s Dinner” by Jacques Dequennoy?  It's the story of ghost friends who come together to have dinner and their ghostly bodies turn into the color of the food they are eating.  Cute, right?

This story is out of print, but you can find the PDF to the story here, to read aloud to your students.  There is also a YouTube video by The Library Lady, that you can find here

After reading, students will then create their own ghosts!  Brainstorm different foods their ghosts will eat and turn into.  Write their ideas on chart paper or the board for students to reference back to for inspiration and spelling assistance! Here are some samples:




After students decorate their ghost, they cut out and glue it onto a piece of construction paper and hang up in your classroom bulletin board.  EASY PEASY AND SUPER CUTE! Do you have a clothes line in your class?  Hang these ghosts up to have them appear like they are floating in the air!


If you'd like to create these ghosts with your kiddos, you can find this fun craftivityin my Teachers Pay Teachers shop (http://bit.ly/GhostsDinner).

The Ghost's Dinner Writing Activity
Thanks for stopping by friends, and HAPPY OCTOBER!

Best,



Growth Mindset: Chapter 8- Changing Mindsets


Hey everyone!  How has summer treated you?  I know lots of you are getting ready to go back to school, some as early as next week! YIKES!  Some of you have probably seen your class list and saw the name of that one kid that you've heard so much about.  You know, that kid. I only mention because it happened to me.  I saw that name on my roster.  Thankfully though, because of Dr. Carol S. Dweck's book Mindset, I am taking a completely different approach to this new school year.  

Today I will be discussing the final chapter titled: Changing Mindsets.


CHANGE.
We all want to do it.  We all try to do it.  But change is HARD!  We, as humans and most especially teachers, are creatures of habit! It's especially hard to try to get others to change, but we as teachers have to try and get our students to shake their own bad habits that block them from being successful in the classroom and try to get them to change.  It's a challenge, I know, and it won't be easy.  BUT, any improvements on your part will lead to improvements on their part.


This chapter discussed how teachers noticed a difference in their students attitudes and mindsets when it came to personal improvement.  Instead of students beating themselves up for not getting high grades all the time, they started to appreciated and see their own personal improvement and growth, even it was small.  These small improvements made them more consistent with their work ethics, and lead to their own personal success. As a kindergarten teacher, improvements are improvements, no matter how small!  


The rest of this chapter discusses how to change your "fixed" mindset to a "growth" mindset.  It's a lot easier said than done. It's difficult to see your challenges, struggles, criticism, and setbacks as positives.  When you face these, it's important to remember this...

and PATIENCE! 

I want to discuss a part in this chapter that hit close to home to me as a teacher: Changing Your Child's Mindset (pg. 234).  We have many different learners in our classroom. Instead of labeling them like we are trained to do (below-level, on-level, above-level), we need to start structuring our instruction to a more growth mindset.  In the book, it suggests we ask these questions to not only our students, but to our own children daily:
  1. What did you learn today?
  2. What mistake did you make that taught you something?
  3. What did you try hard at today?
These simple questions will help for a more "growth" mindset in those young minds, and push out the "fixed" mindset of having to be perfect at everything and to take every mistake or challenge as a learning experience rather than a defeat or failure. And remember:


I have this quote hanging up in my room, in hopes of helping change the mindset of my young learners in the classroom.  You can find it for free here.

If you want to read Mindsets by Dr. Carol S. Dweck, here is my Amazon affiliate link for the book. 


Thanks for joining me today!  As always, I love reading your feedback, so leave some in the comments!  

Best wishes,

Light Box in the Classroom: Passwords!

Heidi Swapp Lightboxes are ALL THE RAGE right now on Instagram!  Thanks to the GENIUS Maribel of Learning in Wonderland and her amazing blog post about Light Box Tips, Tricks, and Ideas, I immediately knew how I was going to utilize my light box in my kindergarten classroom!

Last year, I started thinking of quick and easy ways for my kiddos to read sight words/high-frequency words throughout the day.  Luckily, Pinterest came to my rescue! Outside my classroom and recess door, I have a laminated poster titled "Today's Password", with a word written on it using a dry erase marker.  When my students enter the classroom, they must read the "password".

At the beginning of the year, I started with number words, color words, letters (for letter sounds), and as the year progressed, I started using sight words. The word changed daily. Myself or my aide would be responsible for changing the word, but that can easily be given as a classroom job to a student.  Or, you can give a student the job of reminding the teacher to change the word when the teacher would forget (guilty)!  Here is what it looked like:



However, this upcoming school year Miss V is gettin' fancy!  I present to you... 


Click here for the Lightbox Designs!
This GLITTERY GROWING bundle includes numbers 0-20 and color words.  Coming soon: shapes and beginning sounds! All you need to do is print on transparency or vellum paper to make for your own classroom light box! I've got you covered for the first 33 days of kindergarten (and counting)!

Light box off. So glittery.
Light box on. How shiny!
It is at a discounted price right now and as the bundle grows, the price will increase. If you purchase now, you will receive the updates for free!  Just keep an eye out on my Instagram, Facebook, and make sure you follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store for news on when the bundle is updated!  

*UPDATE* 7/1/16

Daily Passwords featuring Fry's First 100 Sight Words is posted!  Click on the link here!

Thanks for visiting!  If you happen to use these in your classroom, make sure you tag me on whichever social media you post it to!  Questions? Comments? Leave some feedback below! 

Best wishes,

Flexible Seating HACK! DIY Stability Ball Chairs

If you follow my teaching journey on Instagram (@MissVeesKinderKraziness), you know that I recently jumped on the bandwagon of flexible seating in my kindergarten classroom and did away with most of my desks and chairs.  I blame Mr. Greg for that.  And when I say blame, I mean thank.  Seriously, I wish I had done flexible seating at the beginning of the year!  That's a story for another day, because right now I'm here to show you the most amazing hack I found on Pinterest via the Simply Kinder blog.

When I decided to do flexible seating, I gave myself a strict budget of $150 to purchase everything I needed.  I researched all about the different seating options and fell in LOVE with these fancy stability ball chairs.
Cute, but costly.
The only problem was that EACH chair ranged from $70 to $129.  Yeah, so even if I went with the cheaper option, a large chunk of my budget would have gone to just ONE chair.  I suggested yoga balls to my Principal, but he said no with good reason; the kids could fall off and hurt themselves. I completely understood since that was my fear as well.

I was so fixated on getting these yoga ball chairs in my classroom! My students needed these chairs. There had to be an cheaper alternative! After researching on Pinterest, I found a solution, and here it is folks!  Low and behold, a DIY stability ball chair for your classroom (or home school)!



Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  All you need are milk crates and large durable bouncy balls!  I found these colorful neon bouncy balls at Five Below for just $5 each!  It totally matches the rainbow theme in my classroom.  I "borrowed" the milk crates from the cafeteria. Cost: $0. I'm sure you can "borrow" some milk crates from your school cafeteria as well.  Total cost for these 2 chairs: $10 (plus tax)!




My kiddos L-O-V-E these new, as they call it-"bouncy ball" seats, especially my fidgety students!  I might have to go over my budget a little and buy some more bouncy balls to make a few more chairs.



I hope this helps, teacher friends!  Leave me some love in the comments if you have any flexible seating hacks of your own!  I'm always looking for creative ideas!  Have an amazing rest of the week!

Best wishes,


*V.I.P. CADDY!* The Best Student Motivator E V E R !

*THIS BLOG POST WAS UPDATED ON JULY 31, 2017 under my new brand name, The Enthusiastic Class! 
(I was formerly Miss V's Kinder Kraziness)

Hey everyone!  How has 2016 been treatin' ya? It's been a very busy year for me so far. There are so many things that I'm doing in the classroom that I'm eager to share with all of you.  Here is the first one!

Want to know how I to get my kiddos motivated to stay focused, always try their best, and be model students?  It's something they really work hard to earn...V.I.P. CADDY privileges!

video


Mr. Sketch Scented Crayons smell DIVINE! Every scent is true to its name.
 My V.I.P. Caddy has every Scentos  and Mr. Sketch scented writing tool you can think of: crayons, colored pencils, gel pens, regular ink pens, and markers.  It also has Crayola twistable crayons, construction paper crayons, scissors, glue, and pencils- with erasers!

*Side note: This should be a whole other blog post, but let me tell you really quick why having a pencil with an eraser is a HUGE deal.  I don't allow erasers in the classroom.  The only person that is allowed to have and use an eraser is myself and my assistant for two reasons:

  1. So they don't become obsessed with erasing EVERY. LITTLE. MISTAKE. and then make holes in their papers from erasing so much. It's also distracts them from finishing their task in a timely manner.
  2. I think it's important that my students see their mistakes and not be fearful of making any.
How do I choose my Student of the Month (SOTM)?  I do not solely base it on grades.  The SOTM has to show growth in all areas: academics, behavior, effort, attitude, and character.

The SOTM is allowed to use the caddy for the ENTIRE MONTH.  Yes, friends.  The ENTIRE month.  Every day, the SOTM may choose two friends to sit with them at the V.I.P. Table and use the V.I.P. Caddy.  There are rules to follow when using the caddy.  If the rules are broken, bye-bye caddy!

V.I.P. Caddy Rules

  • If the supplies are not put back correctly, you may not use the V.I.P. caddy for the rest of the day.
  • If the SOTM chooses someone who I had to take many fuzzies way from that day because of misbehavior, they need to choose someone else.
  • If an argument breaks out about between students about supplies, V.I.P. Caddy is shut down for the day.
  • If you steal anything from the V.I.P. Caddy, bye-bye forever.
Luckily, I've only had to shut it down once, when the students left it a mess. They were devastated. Not gonna lie, I've been blessed with an amazing bunch this year who love to make their teacher happy!  

So far, this caddy has worked miracles! The SOTM picks different classmates everyday and makes sure that everyone gets a chance to use the caddy.  It has allowed them to interact with other students in the class that they might not normally hang out with, thus opening an opportunity to form new friendships!

I love the VIP Caddy so much that I have one for myself! Isn't it amazing?! My co-workers love borrowing the scented gel pens for note taking when meetings are held in my class.
*The rotating caddy was purchase at the Target Dollar Spot for $3.  FREE editable labels are from Learning in Wonderland's Teachers Pay Teachers store (click here for the labels).

UPDATE: It's 2017 and a new school year is among us.  In addition, the world of scented writing tools has expanded ten-fold! There are SO many different kinds of scented crayons, markers, etc., from all different brands.  I recently have come to love the Silly Scents [affiliate link] that Crayola has recently released. They have scents such as cherry, cotton candy (my fav), fruit punch, coconut, root beer, just to name a few!

Also,  you know that cute rotating caddy I got from Target that you see in the photos above? Yeah, the kiddos dropped it a bunch of times this past year and it cracked. BOO! This summer, I was on the hunt for the perfect caddy that could be easily replaced if it happened to break again. Enter Lakeshore Learning to the rescue! For under $20, I found a sturdy caddy organizer that is almost indestructible. What I love about Lakeshore is that all of their store brand items have a lifetime guarantee and if anything breaks, you can bring it back to the store for a replacement at no charge, FOR REALS!  Here is what my VIP caddy will look like for the 2017-2018 school year:

Rainbows make my teacher heart so happy! <3
I love this new VIP caddy so much, that I am hosting a giveaway RIGHT HERE AT THE END OF THIS BLOG POST so you could win one of your own for your classroom! Included in this giveaway are:
  • Lakeshore Learning Tabletop Supply Caddy ($16.99 value)
  • Crayola Silly Scents Colored Pencils (12-count: $4.99 value)
  • Crayola Silly Scents Chisel Tip Markers (6-count: $7.99 value)
  • Crayola Silly Scents Slim Markers (10-count: $4.99 value)
  • Crayola Silly Scents Twist Crayons (12-count:$3.99 value)
That is a grand total of almost $40!  If you want to win this scentsational prize, make sure you enter below.  There are opportunities to earn more entries, too! The giveaway will begin promptly at Midnight EST August 1, 2017 and end at Midnight EST August 4, 2017. I will announce the winner on all my social media accounts. Best of luck and have a wonderful school year!

*This giveaway is not affiliated with Lakeshore Learning, Crayola, Facebook, Amazon, or Instagram. Must be 18 years old to enter and live in the USA.*

Since it is the start of a new school year, take a look at my Teachers Pay Teachers shop and grab some low-prep, independent activities for your kiddos! Here are some favorites:

 


Best wishes,
Erica

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TOP 3 MOMENTS OF 2015!

WHAT A YEAR 2015 WAS!  So much happened this year that has made me so feel grateful to be part of this teaching community and so motivated to continue to be part of it.  So without further ado, here are my Top 3 Moments of 2015!

3. TpT Flock Meet-up in Binghamton, NY-May 2015



This is where it all began.  I had only a few items in my TPT shop when I attended this meet-up. It was the first meet-up I had heard about (besides Vegas) and it was only a short 6 hour drive away. Attending this meet-up was the BEST decision I made!  Not only did I meet THE Jen Jones of Hello Literacy, but so many other influential teacher-sellers like Melissa of First Grade Smiles, Jackie of The Template Teacher, Elsa of The Whole Wheat Class, and Nicole of Learning Lab.  I learned A TON and made so many connections and lasting friendships at this meet-up!  It also made my trip to Vegas less stressful because I knew I'd run into familiar faces!
You can read about the #TPTFlock Meet-up here.  If you are interested in attending the next meet-up in April 2016, click here.  Trust me, YOU WANT TO GO!

3. VEGAS! July 2015

I will let the photos speak for themselves.  But guys, this trip was MONUMENTAL.  I finally got to met Chad of Male Kindergarten Teacher  IRL (in real life) after months of texting.  We helped each other get to Vegas via a Donors Choose project.  I'm happy to say that our friendship is going strong and we have collaborated on many project since then!  He's the best!

Chad of Male Kindergarten Teacher
The Guys of Primary!
Left to Right: Chris of Famous in First, Yours truly, Mr. Greg of Kindergarten Smorgasboard, Chad of Male Kindergarten Teacher
My fellow Jersey Gals!
From left to right: Danielle of Study All Knight, Amie of Glitter Meets Glue Designs, and me!
I met Freckles Sinclair! He's my favorite champ from GoNoodle!
Selfie time! Vera of The Tutu Teacher  likes to photobomb!

There have never been more truer words. SDE knows how to make a rocking' Photo Booth!
Stacy of Simpson's Superstars! Keep reading to find out where we got our t-shirts printed with our brand logos!
The AMAZING Mary of Sharing Kindergarten! Her workshops were the bees knees!
Do you like my shirt? Keep reading to find out where I got it!
Panoramic shot of the Blog Hoppin' Meet-Up!  There were SO. MANY. PEOPLE!
Rachelle of What the Teacher Wants. She is SO gorgeous!
Laura of Luv My Kinders. She has been an amazing supporter since I started my teacher Instagram over 2 years ago. Love ya girl!
The ever talented and Mastermind of the TPT Flock Meet-up Sherri of Literary Sherri! It was so nice to see a familiar face in Vegas!
I ran into Melissa of First Grade Smiles. I met her at the Flock Meet-up as well!  L-O-V-E her!
The awesome Katie of Little Warriors! Her workshop was chock full of great ideas for centers! 
Erin of Erin's Ink, another awesome clip artist!
Caitlin of Kindergarten Smiles.  I seriously own tons of her resources from her TpT shop. 
Chrissy of Buzzing with Ms. B
Megan of I Teach. What's Your Superpower? When she knew who I was, I nearly fainted!
The BEST LADIES IN THE WORLD!  The Primary Pack! Such a fabulous group of talented and kind women.
From the top left: Kristin of Easy Teaching Tools, Ashley of One Sharp Bunch, Elyse of A is for Apples, Alexis of Laugh Eat Learn, Kelly of Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten, and Alisha of Missing Tooth Grins.
Can't forget these ladies!  I taught them an iPhone hack.  Click the volume button on your iPhone while in selfie mode to take the picture! :-) Meredith of Creativity to the Core and Elyse of Proud to be Primary!
They are also part of The Primary Pack

T-shirt is from TeacherShirts.com
It was truly epic, and I can't wait for July 2016!  This time, the TPT Conference will be held in Orlando!  At Disney World!  I'VE NEVER BEEN THERE!  AHHHHH!  I guess you can say that the trip will make my top 3 moments of 2016.  I. CAN'T. WAIT!

I was a little intimidated going to Vegas and meeting everyone; I can be shy in a big crowed room. BUT, thanks to A+ Images, I was able to get my brand logo printed on a t-shirt.  I wore it around on conference days and I was easily recognized!  A special shout out to A+ Images for providing an amazing service to us Teacher Bloggers.  I have worn my t-shirt many times and you would think after washing it so much, the colors would fade or peel.  NOT THIS SHIRT.  It is such a high-quality shirt that it looks the same as the first day I wore it.  Now that I've upgrade my brand logo, I'm going to need a new shirt!   You can find A+ Images, Inc. here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aplusimages
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/aplusimages/
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/aplusimages
Online: http://www.aplusimages.comhttp://www.teachershirts.com

NOW FOR THE NUMBER 1 MOMENT OF 2015!

1. MY PHOTO BEING FEATURED ON TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS!

That's yours truly on to the top right hand side!

This moment happened while standing in the middle of Staples Copy & Print Center, printing my latest product for my kiddos.  I literally screamed!  To be featured on TPT is an honor. Thank you, TPT, for continuing to inspire teachers and students all over the globe.

I can't wait for 2016!  I have so much planned for this upcoming year. New products, blog posts, GIVEAWAYS, meet-ups, the list is long.

Thanks for sticking around and reading my post.  I would love to hear what your top moments of 2015 are!  Share them in the comments!

Happy New Year my friends!  I wish you all the best in health, love, prosperity, and whatever else your goals are.  It's been a great year.  Let's make 2016 ours!

Best wishes,