Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Gingerbread Man is back (almost!)

The Gingerbread Man (GBM) is almost back!ย  We are on Thanksgiving Break, so where did I spend part of my vacation?ย  In my classroom of course!!ย  I needed to get the GBM crate out of the closet without the kids seeing it. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Here’s what the underneathย  area of my loft looks like now:


This is the crate where I organize all my GBM things.ย  Each country has a folder. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1322

This “Unit Pack” folder holds all my Gingerbread Man Unit materials.ย  It’s really easy to pull out what I need from this folder to prep all the envelopes that the GBM leaves us. IMG_1323

Next in the crate is the Tale of the Gingerbread Man play that we have our K kiddos present each year.ย  We are taking the year off from this play this year because we have such a short window between Thanksgiving and the end of the semester.ย  We just didn’t have enough time to get everything together, so maybe next year. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1324

I am usually in charge of running the sound board, reminding the kids of the movements, and turning the microphones on and off for speaking parts.ย  So you see all my markups in my master binder that I have with me during all of our practices and the actual presentation. IMG_1325

These are many of the GBM stories that I have collected. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  In my GBM unit, I have shared a list of most of my GBM books. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can also see the folders for each country.ย  I have all the materials I need for each packet in the folders.ย  You can get the letters in my GBM unit. IMG_1326

I also have a folder for all of the Literacy Work Station and Math Work Station materials we use during the GBM’s visit. IMG_1327

Behind all my folders, I have extra envelopes if I decide to add another country.ย  I like to add countries that my students have lived in so they can share some of their experiences.ย  IMG_1328
In the front of the crate, I have the more 3D objects that will be sent along with our letters.ย  I keep the menorah, dreidels, puzzles, etc., here.


And then there is the pile on top of the crate.ย  It serves two purposes, one to hide the envelopes underneath it, and two, its everything that would not fit in the crate or things I need to copy or have copied for the unit. IMG_1330

This is what our first envelope looks like. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  It will be “delivered” on December 2nd. IMG_1331

We will be measuring with these candies soon and I’ll be posting this GBM Write the Room activity soon in my Tpt store. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1332Finally, here are my GBM puppets that we use to retell the story.ย  We sit in a big circle and we pass the wooden spoon puppets around in the order that the GBM is chased in the story.ย  I got the faces years ago from the December Mailbox book.ย  I’m not sure if you can still get it, but I will be working on creating some to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

New Gingerbread Man Pack

I’ve been busy at work creating some new gingerbread man related math and literacy activities for my students to use in December.ย  I finally finished it today–thank goodness for a week off for Thanksgiving Break! ๐Ÿ™‚

This new product is on sale now and you can see more about it below! ๐Ÿ™‚

My entire store is 20% off until midnight tonight!


It would pair very well with my Gingerbread Man: Customs and Celebration from Around the World pack. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Gingerbread Man Dice Toss:

Use the included cards to place inside a clear pocket die.ย  The children roll the die and record the sight word on the recording sheet.

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Gingerbread Man Write the Room

Hide the large gingerbread man cards around your classroom and your children find them and write down the corresponding sight word. The sight words are aligned to the Journeys 2014 high frequency words. Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 3.56.35 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 3.56.45 PM

Also included in a Gingerbread Man reader.ย  At under 10 pages, this reader is perfect for use in small or large reading groups.ย  The pictures encourage students to use the pictures to determine what the words say. Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 3.56.58 PM

Gingerbread Man Measuring

Your kiddos will be so excited to use the candy rulers to measure the different sized gingerbread men.

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Spin a Sweet!

A fun and simple game for children to play that will tie into your gingerbread man unit.ย  All the children need is a large paper clip and the spinning can begin!Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 3.57.18 PM

Spin A Gingerbread Man

Children can have fun creating their own gingerbread men by spinning to find out what to add to him or her next!Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 3.57.28 PM

Classroom Measuring Gingerbread Style

Children will use the included gingerbread man rulers to measure common objects in your classroom.

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Here is my other Gingerbread Man Pack:

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Don’t forget that my entire store (including both of these products) are on sale today for 20% off and on Monday and Tuesday during the Tpt Cyber Monday/Tuesday sale for 28% off!


Don’t forget to use the code CYBER to get the discount starting on Monday, December 2nd!

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

After Photos

Here are the “after” pictures showing my loft.ย  I cleaned it really well this week and just in the nick of time too–my son was sick at school last Friday and so he laid down and slept under my loft.



Not spectacular, but much, much cleaner than it was!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  This is sort of my area where I put things that I will be using in the near future.ย  Later this week, I’ll show you how messy it already is! ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t forget that Tpt will be having a huge Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale on the 2nd and 3rd of December.


Get those wishlists in order! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Black Friday Sale


In honor of Black Friday, I am joining a whole bunch of my blogging buddies, and putting my entire teaching store on sale on Friday, November 29!
On Friday only, you can save 20% off
ย of every single product!
However, if you want to hold out until Monday and Tuesday, you can save 28% off of everything in my store because Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale! Everything in my store will be 20% off on Monday and Tuesday and Teachers Pay Teachers is offering an additional 10% off, which actually comes out to a savings of 28%! Make sure you use the code CYBER to save the extra 10%.
You can shop on Friday and save 20%, or shop on Monday and Tuesday, and save 28%.ย 
Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale

My Tpt store (along with LOTS of others)ย  will be on sale beginning on December 2nd through the 3rd.ย  Everything will be 20% off in my store along with the discount that Tpt offers.ย  You will need to use the code CYBER to get the sale prices. ๐Ÿ™‚


So get started on your wishlists and shop your heart out on Cyber Monday (and Tuesday!!).

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanksgiving Ideas!

Here are some activities I have in my Tpt store that will help you get through Thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ™‚

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 10.04.23 PMThere was an old lady who swallowed a pie has got to me one of my most favorite stories ever!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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And some after Thanksgiving activities that will begin on December 2nd in my classroom:

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Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 10.10.48 PMThe Mitten (3 leveled emergent readers)

Click on any of the images above to check them out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Guided Reading Groups

It is a difficult thing for me to find a system that works for organizing my guided reading materials I am using each week.

I went from this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 9.43.53 PMI used to put all my materials into Ziploc baggies and line them up in this tub.ย  They got all mixed up, so that wasn’t working–it was taking too much time to find what I needed.

To this:

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My stacking drawers are similar to these except I have drawers that slide in and out.ย  Functional, yets, problematic, yes!!ย  I was very limited to the size and quantity of materials I could fit in these baskets.ย  I needed to find something new!!

To the new love of my life: IMG_1274

I got this beauty at IKEA last time I was there for $15.00!!!ย  The drawers are called LENNART drawers. I had to do some quick assembly, but this bad boy fits right under my horseshoe table with about an inch of clearance.ย  The drawers have waves in the back of the tracks to keep the drawers from falling out.ย  The drawers slide in and out very smoothly and they are about 3 1/2 to 4 inches deep, so I can store everything I need in them!ย  There is also a nice 4 inch space under the bottom basket where another basket could easily slide in.ย  IMG_1275I’m going back to IKEA in two weeks and you’d better believe that several more of these are on my wishlist!! I need one for the other side of my horseshoe table and this is the perfect height for me to put my laptop on (well at least for short people like me it works!!).ย  I have several more places picked out in my classroom that will be getting a set of these. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll share some more pictures later this week of my guided reading materials in them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Messy Mess!

How many of you have an area in your classroom that looks like this?


This is the area under my Home Living area/Loft.ย  I just keep putting things here with the intent to put them away soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  This space is right behind my desk area and is always the collection area. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Lucky me!! I have a student teacher, so I spent some time cleaning this space up and later this week, I’ll share the after pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1286

How do you keep your cluttered areas clean?? ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Morning Work

Our new morning work baskets are still working out really well!ย  The kids love them and they are eager to see what will be in their basket each day.ย  We have 6 different baskets that we are rotating, so it takes 6 days to get through all the baskets.ย  Today, we will be changing out the activities so that the children do not get bored with them. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I want to make sure we are reviewing current and past skills and that the kiddos are still interested in them.


Here are some pictures of the activities in action:


This is one of the iSpy bags I made.ย  The kids are doing a great job sharing these and taking turns.ย  I’ll be making a tutorial on how to make these soon and will probably have some for sale.ย  IMG_1238

Making 3 letter words.IMG_1239

Sequencing letters.IMG_1240

Another iSpy bag. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1241

Number puzzles. Matching quantities to numbers and number words. IMG_1242

Rhyming Word puzzle.IMG_1243

iSpy bagIMG_1244

I just LOVE that they choose to read the books I added to the baskets. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I made sure they are books that we have shared together. IMG_1245This is how I keep track of who gets what basket the next day.ย  I take a picture of the baskets and know where to rotate them. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  The kiddos don’t seem to mind if they get a basket soon after they have already had it though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚


We went on a field trip to the pumpkin patch and apple orchard a few weeks ago and when we came back, we spent some time learning more about our pumpkin:


After we scooped out the seeds and counted them (501!!), we counted the number of lines on the outside of the pumpkin.ย  I wrote on my pumpkin using a dry erase marker.ย  We can erase the lines and draw on the outside if we want to or write facts about our pumpkin on it. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1247

This is our Pumpkin Investigation that we completed while we were learning more about it.ย  You might see that the “How many seeds?” section it says 400 seeds.ย  We actually had 501 seeds, but 400 was our estimate by looking inside.ย  We went back and stuck a post-it note over 400 and changed it. IMG_1248

The children learned about the life cycle while we were at the pumpkin patch so we created it in our science notebooks. They first colored the pictures and then glued them in the cycle to show their understanding. IMG_1249

I also introduced another new math game that is helping us work on subtraction.ย  The children begin with 5 pumpkins on each larger pumpkin.ย  They roll the die to determine how many to take away from the 5.ย  They write the total number left on the large pumpkin and move on to the next pumpkin.IMG_1251Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

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