Happy Halloween!  Today, I was Batgirl... a big hit with my kiddos {and trick-or-treaters at my house}!  I don't know about you, but I am stuffed full of pizza, chips, and candy!  It was a bad eating day for sure :)


I recently posted a photo of this year's center work board on my Instagram, and it sparked some interest among Cupcake followers!  Here is the pic I posted:


I changed things up from last year... I'll explain how I make things work!


I have six groups {giraffes, bears, hippos, zebras, lions, tigers} and each group includes 3-4 students on different skill levels.  This way my kiddos can help each other, and it cuts down on interruptions during guided reading.  Each day, groups visit one center for about 30-35 minutes.  After the first marking period, groups will visit two centers per day for about 20 minutes each. 

  Since I have six groups, I have six center baskets {labeled #1-6} and since there are only five days in a week, I do two separate center rotations {35 mins each} on Wednesdays to ensure that every group gets to every center.  I happen to have extra time on Wednesday mornings, so this works perfectly for my class.  On Monday, the giraffes will complete basket #1, on Tuesday they'll do basket #3, and so on.  When I move to two centers per day {and I guess four on Wednesdays} I will have a second set of six baskets in a different spot, also labeled #1-6, to cut down on confusion.

I have found that numbering my center baskets is much better {for me} than labeling them with specifics like "write the room," or "word work."  With numbers, I'm not limited and I can throw whatever work I want into whichever basket.  It's just easier and quicker for me this way.  Each week I always include a writing center, a buddy reading center, and a spelling center; the other three vary but always have something to do with what we are learning, and they are usually themed!  Apples, pumpkins... the kids love it!


I used to put certain baskets at certain tables, and each day my kiddos had to move with the basket.  I look back and think that was insane.  Now, my groups start out in the same spot everyday.  I count to three and we sing a song as we all get up and go to our center starting points.  Each week we pick a new song so it doesn't get boring!  This week we are singing The Wheels on the Bus.  My kids know where to go {bears start at table #2, zebras start at table #4, etc.}.  When we are done singing, my kiddos know to be QUIET and wait for instructions.  I quickly remind them which basket they're working on that day, and my center captains {also changed weekly} are responsible for getting the baskets, handing out materials, and then making sure the baskets are organized and put away at the end of centers.  I usually give a five minute warning before clean up time... then we will sing again and head back to our regular seats.


And that's that {I think}!  I hope I was able to explain my center routine in a way that makes sense.  If you have another other questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them!  Also, if you're interested in my rotation cards, I put them into a Google doc for you to grab for free!  If you do pick 'em up, I'd love a comment! :)

Night, night friends!  Bugs and hisses for you!! ;)
Did you know that Freebielicious had a birthday this month?!  Yup, our sweet little blog turned ONE on October 7th... which is my birthday, too!  What a great day! :)

 Our goal when we started this collaborative blog was to provide primary teachers with useful ideas and fun freebies for the classroom.  I'm so happy to say that not only have we come together to inspire others, but we have also become a little bloggy family!  Each and every girl {there are 25 of us!} is as sweet as can be... and talented, too!! 

To celebrate a year of fun and friendship, we are hosting a birthday party like no other... and everyone is invited!!!  Don’t worry, we won’t ask you to buy us a present (although, we won't turn down chocolate).  Instead, we want to help tech up your classroom with a pretty sweet giveaway.


You can win a prize package valued at over $500, which includes an iPad mini!  How sweet is that?!  Hop on over to the Freebielicious blog for YOUR chance to win an iPad Mini!


You have three chances to win.  Follow Freebielicious on Facebook, Pinterest, and follow the FL blog by email.  Enter to win before October 30, 2013 at midnight.  A winner will be drawn on October 31, 2013 and announced on the Freebielicious blog!

Good luck!!
Hello, Cupcakes!  I hope everyone had a great start to the week!

I'm dropping by today to share a new project with you!


My new series, Just Print It, will be available monthly... I just finished the November pack!  Included are themed printables that will keep your kiddos engaged throughout the month.  You can use them for fast finishers or provide them as morning work.  They're also great for those times when you find yourself with 5-10 minutes to fill {ya know, right before lunch when you can't quite start something new}!

Here is a look-see at all the pages included:


This pack covers skills such as time to the hour, skip counting by 5, writing, punctuation, and more!  For a complete list of included skills, check out the listing on TpT!

Need a close-up?  Here is a better look at four of the printables inside:


To grab a copy of just print it! november, or to learn more, head over to my little TpT shop!

Want to win a copy?  Leave a comment with your email address, and I'll pick a winner before bedtime!! :)
Thank you for all the comments!!!  Congrats #75!  Sending an email your way!
TGIF!  Woo woo!  I'm stoppin' in for a little Five for Friday action!  Here goes...

My class focused on Fire Safety this week instead of last.  We created a bunch of anchor charts, completed Chit Chats, fun printables, and more!  My kiddos are safety EXPERTS, now!

On Monday we had off in honor of the great explorer, but when we came back on Tuesday, we began learning ALL about Christopher Columbus!  My group of smarties knew a ton of this info before we even discussed it!

Halloween is near, and we have been decorating whenever we find time!  Today, my firsties made these cute ghosts that I saw on Pinterest last year {but never pinned... is this your creation?!}.  They are hanging on the hall bulletin board as well as on our hallway clothesline!

Speaking of Halloween... my first grade coworkers and I are going to be superheroes!  I am Batman/Batgirl and these are only some of the accessories I've gotten for my costume!  Those earrings are fake tapers??  I don't know, but they look cool! :)

I love a good pop of color, and these red shoes are just the thing!  I posted this pic on Insta with the hashtag, #theresnoplacelikehome ;)

And I know that my red flats are not the shoes you're interested in.... you want to know who won the $100 Tieks giveaway!!!  Well, wait no more!  The winner is... drumroll please...

CONGRATS, Ashley!!!  I will be emailing you shortly for your info, so I can send that gift card out to you ASAP!  What color are you going to get, girl!?

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Happy, happy weekend my sweets!!!!
I am SO, so excited to pop in today with a little belated birthday treat... for you!  Yes, I'm a week late to my own party, but trust me, it's worth the wait!


As teachers, we are on our feet all day long.  Sit down?  What does that even mean??  Who has the time?!  For us, the right shoe can mean the difference between sore tootsies and happy feet.

I am always on the hunt for the perfect work shoe.  I found THE shoe once, six years ago.  I bought two pairs for a pretty penny, and I tell you it was well worth the money!  I pretty much alternated them every day for six years, and wore them 'til they couldn't be worn anymore.  I recently started a new shoe search, and that's how I stumbled upon Tieks


Have you heard of Tieks?  I've been told they are the most versatile designer flats in the world.  They are made out of fine Italian leather.  They're every day ballet flats that you can fold up and pop in your purse, if you so desire!


And, Oprah likes them!

Tieks come in prints, patents, classics, and even a vegan line.  There are 48 different colors to choose from {if I counted correctly}.



The starting price is a little hefty at $175, but...


...or the classroom :)

I was lucky enough to receive a $100 gift card towards the purchase of my first pair of Tieks, and I cannot wait to place my order!  Even better news?  I get to go shopping with a friend-- one of my Cupcake followers-- because I am also giving away a $100 gift card!!!

Yes, the gift card comes in an *adorable* mini Tieks box!

WOOHOO!!!!

To enter for your chance to win, just use the Rafflecopter below!!  I offered eight different options so you can have eight chances to win this AMAZING prize!


This feet-tastic giveaway {haha} will end on Wednesday, October 16th.
Good luck!!!! xoxo!


Before you go, I'm throwing a little celebration sale in my shop in honor of TpT's Facebook milestone!  My store is 20% off today only, and you'll receive an extra 10% if you use the code FB100K!!!  Happy Shopping! :)
For the last two weeks, my firsties and I have been learning ALL about the five senses!  Last year, I picked up a senses pack from Scholastic and the included books are just perfect for teaching this theme.



Each day, we read a new book and focused on that sense for the day.  We completed a bunch of fun activities for each sense, and before we knew it, we were pros!

Together, we created a few anchor charts.  We labeled the five senses, with help from Caitlin and her senses unit.


We brainstormed a list of things we can see, smell, hear, etc.  The kiddos used this anchor throughout the theme; it was especially helpful during writing activities.


We also sang and sang and sang a five senses song, courtesy of the lovely Cara.  Our class added hand motions and had a great time with it!

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Throughout the unit we wrote in our journals, and practiced list making.

Love "slaled" hehe!

And we did a little opinion writing, too!

This little sweetie enjoys "quyit" and drew me saying "shhh" to the class, lol!

As a fun review of our unit, our class played a sorting game {from Caitlin's pack}.  Everyone got a card and had to place it in the correct spot.


And last but not least, we completed our fun with a little Chit Chat.


My students practically fall over in their chairs for a chance to write on the Chit Chat!


Phew!  We sure did a lot... and that's not even all!

Well, I am one exhausted teacher, so I'm about to take a little evening nap.  xoxo!

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I'm linking up with Five for Friday!  Books, anchor charts, journal writing, a game, and a chit chat... five things from this week! ;)
Happy, Happy Sunday friends!  Why two happies?? {<< new word!}  Because my birthday is tomorrow, of course!!! :)  I started celebrating last night and I'm ready to celebrate all through next weekend!  Stay tuned for a birthday surprise for my favorite Cupcakes, too!

Today I want to share with you my newest project... Sentence Builders!


My kiddos love working on these, so I thought yours might, too!  So far, I put together Sentence Builders for the months of September, October, and November... and there are more in the works!  For each month I included three themes, and each theme includes five fun printables!  Take a little peek:

September:  School * Apples * Five Senses

October:  Pumpkins * Halloween * Fire Safety

November:  Election Day * Family * Thanksgiving

Not only will your little ones build sentences, but they will read, write, check, and draw too!  Here is a close-up of what a Sentence Builders printable looks like:


{Guess what?  This one isn't included in the pack... it's a freebie for you!  Grab it HERE!}

If you want to check out the whole pack-- sentence builders {printables!} september, october, november --head on over to my TpT shop!  Here is another look at everything included:


I hope you love it!!  As always, let me know what you think :)

I'd love to give away a copy!  Just leave me a comment with your email address, and I'll choose a winner at 8pm EST!
Congrats to #26, Jessica!!

Hi everyone!  I'm stoppin' by today with a little Throwback Thursday Wednesday post!  I originally blogged about my Fire Safety Kids last September.  Maybe you missed it last year, or maybe you're new to my blog... either way, read up if you're looking for something to do with your kiddos next week!

PS: Stay tuned for a "Happy Birthday to Me" giveaway you {and your feet} WON'T want to miss!! ;)  Plus, I have two new units in the works!  xoxo!!

* * * * *

Next week, October 6th through the 12th, is Fire Prevention Week 2013!  What do you have planned?  If your answer is something like "I don't know," then maybe I can help you :)
This unit is over 30 pages of fire safety fun!  Your littles will create some fire safety cuties {a boy or a girl} and write or draw about how to stay safe during a fire:

Here's what's included:
*fire kids craftivity pics, patterns, and directions
*3 versions of the safety tips writing prompt
*11 different worksheets including: ABC order, can-have-need, & more
*8 vocabulary cards
*how to use a fire extinguisher poster

Aaaand on top of all that, I've included a freebie with this download :)  In order to get it, you will need to DL the preview of this packet {BEFORE purchasing} on TpT!  It's a fire hat:
Just attach it to a sentence strip, and you'll have a class full of real fire cuties! :)

If you're interested in purchasing fire safety kids {craftivity & printables}, or if you want to learn more about this product, head to my TpT shop!  Don't delay, Fire Prevention Week is just around the corner!! 
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