Sunday, November 29, 2015

Winter Wonder Family Memory

I'm excited to announce a winter holiday freebie blog hop! In case this is your first time on my blog, my name is Laura, I am a kindergarten teacher in the lovely Southwest, the beautiful desert in New Mexico. Our winters don't get much snow, unless we drive northeast for about an hour and half, then we get to see a beautiful Winter Wonderland! Winter is always full of wonder and awe for me, I'm often busy with family and mega church productions that I love being part off, but today I will be sharing something near and dear to my heart! A winter wonder family memory and tradition!

One of my favorite winter wonders is baking cookies with my own children during the holiday break. Growing up, I watched my own mother, grandmother, and aunts, gather around the table and bake and cook for what seemed days, getting ready for La Noche Buena. They made tamales, biscochos, buñuelos, posole, and menudo! Then we would stay up till midnight (La Noche Buena) eating, laughing, singing, drinking champurrado (Mexican porridge drink) and telling stories! Then right at midnight we would open our Christmas gifts! A beautiful tradition that I still carry on dearly in my heart, and I'm passing on to my very own, as the years pass on! For this, I celebrate, and as a winter wonder memory, here's fabulous winter holiday freebie just for you, revolving around cookies and counting! May your days be merry, full of wonder and joy! XOXOXOXOXOX!

Don't forget: My whole entire store will also be on sale for the #TpTCyber Sale :)

P.S. Hop On for another Fabulous Memory and freebie!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sight Words Practice

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to be sharing this post with you today. Over the last two weeks, my educational assistant and I have been implementing new and engaging ways to have our students learn their sight words. I think we have discovered some activities that have been successful and I wanted to to share them with you, so here we go!sight words

Magic Sight Words

The first activity is a #pinterest inspired idea! Mrs. Saenz, came up with this idea, it is so simple, yet magical! The kids were so excited to reveal the magic word, read it, then write it! I seriously haven't seen my kids wait their turn anxiously to go to our sight word center! I told the kids, "Today you will be magicians, on this white sheet of paper, you have some magic words that amazing readers and writers can read. All you have to do is color over the white box to reveal your magical sight word, then AbraCadaBra... read it, then write it! Hearing them talk with each other about what sight words they each revealed, was music to my ears! Here is all you need for this activity.

  • White Construction Paper
  • White Crayons
  • Paint or markers
Then have students do the rest, for variation, you can have students write the words themselves, trade with a partner, then their partner reveals the "magic sight word."

sight word activities

Read it, Build it, Write it

The next activity was one of those ideas you come up with on the fly! We recently ran out of copy paper at our school, so I couldn't make copies of my usual activities. I had to think fast, fast, as a snap and sometimes those ideas seem to be the most engaging with true authentic learning! Once again the kids loved this activity! The best part was hearing them sing the alphabet, to make sure they were placing back their letters in alphabetical order! 

  • Sentence strips folded up into 1/4 (write one word per section, then cut them out), then draw picture of a dice with numbers 1-6 
  • Regular sheet of paper folded into 1/3
  • Magnetic letters or letter tiles
  • Dice
  • Dry erase markers and eraser
  • Plastic Covers for re-use
  • Students roll a Dice, find the matching word with the same number.
  • Then they read it, build, and write it!

sight word activities

Forever Magic Sight Word Freebie

Since these activities have been such a success, I've actually created a forever freebie printable, to go right along with them! Enjoy, and may your students have a #magical experience learning their sight words! Here you go~  :)

Add caption

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Number Sense: More than just counting and writing numbers

number sense and counting

As children enter kindergarten, they bring with them many prior experiences, one of them being counting or what we know better as reciting number sequences. This is very similar to children singing the alphabet as it is easy for us to confuse this experience with numerical knowledge. Numerical knowledge has four interrelated aspects that help children develop early number concepts and number sense.

The Four Interrelated Aspects Are:

 number sense and counting

  1. Number sequence. The names and the ordered list of number words
  2. One-to-one correspondence: Counting Objects by saying numbers words in a 1:1 correspondence with the objects
  3. Cardinality. Understanding  that the last number word said when counting tells tells how many objects have been counted
  4. Subitizing. Quickly recognizing and naming how many objects are in a small group without counting. Young Children can recognize and name quantities of objects that are less than four without counting (Clements & Sarama, 2007)
These numerical aspects are crucial in the primary grades (Pre-K through 2nd grade), if students do not develop these aspects or number sense, they will struggle with addition, multiplication, and everything else that revolves around numbers. Therefore, we must keep in mind that, "Children must construct these ideas through a variety of experiences and activities. They cannot be forced. As Children work on each of these aspects of early counting, their understanding about counting is continually refined. For example, children will learn how to count  (matching counting words with objects) before they understand that the last count word indicates the amount of the set or the cardinality of the set. We can at the same time use subtilizing to emphasize the notion of cardinality and to help emphasize the notion that counting tells "how many." ( Van de Walle, Lovin, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2014) So how do we develop number sense?

Number Sense, Developed by Building Number Relationships
Number sense is something that grows and develops over time, Howden (1989) described number sense as a "good intuition about numbers and their relationships. It develops gradually as a result  of exploring, visualizing, and relating them" to each other. Number Relationships also has four parts, that will be discussed in another blog post.  At a glance, they are:

number sense and counting

In essences math lessons must revolve around these 4 aspects and 4 relationships. If we give children these opportunities, they will develop number sense while acquiring a conceptual understanding of mathematics! What it may look like....

Number Sequence & 1:1 Correspondence

number sense and countingnumber sense and counting

After reciting numbers with videos, songs, dances, chants, poems, flash cards, give students the opportunity to explore, visualize, and manipulate what they just RECITED, SANG, etc..! 
Using number cards, students count up to that number while clapping or jumping once and only once.   Then they can build it using connecting cubes or any other manipulative. TIP: always start off with concrete lessons, then move on to abstract activities (i.e. worksheets) If you notice a student can't clap or jump for each number being said, they're most likely still struggling with the number sequence, and they will not be able to match counting words with objects, claps, or jumps (1:1 correspondence)
Here are more examples of more concrete activities:

number sense and countingnumber sense and counting

Again these 4 aspects are interrelated; they don't have to be practiced in isolation. Children can explore, visualize, and relate these aspects all at the same time. Cardinality & Subtizing may look like this: 
number sense and countingnumber sense and counting

number sense and counting

Give students activities where they "make the number." Making a number revolves around the "last number said or how many objects have been counted." 


Subitizing develops spatial relationships: "many children learn to recognize the dot arrangements on standard dice, therefore similar instant recognition can be developed for patterns in spatial relationships" ( Van de Walle, Lovin, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2014). Eventually it will aid in counting on, or learning the combinations of numbers. When I first introduce this activity, I also let them "make the number." Simply show the dotted card for 3-5 seconds and they "make" the same quantity. Before you know it, they will just subtize.... quickly recognize the quantity without counting! Dots must be arranged in specific order and color to make patterns recognizable. (dot patterns for dot plates) 
number sense and counting

As children develop number sense, more than just counting, they will be be adding and multiplying numbers (in kindergarten) in the non-traditional algorithm way, and like me, you'll be amazed! When you see this happening, be assured that they are developing a conceptual understanding of mathematics! Van de Walle, et al, affirms, "that the principal tool children poses and will use as they construct these relationships, is counting, initially, then, you will notice a lot of counting,  and you may wonder if you're making progress. Have Patience! Counting will become less and less necessary as children construct new relationships and begin to use more powerful ideas." 


Van de Walle,  J., Lovin, L.,  Karp, K., & Bay-Williams, J., (2014) Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics. Developmentally appropriate instruction for grades Pre-K-2. 2nd Ed. USA: Pearson Education. 

Clements, D.H., & Sarama, J., (2007) Early Childhood Mathematics Learning. In F.K. Lester, Jr. (Ed.), Second handbook on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 461-555). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Howden, H. (1989). Teaching number sense. Arithmetic Teacher, 36(6), 6-11.

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

For my family and I, the first day of school is always like New Year's Day. In fact we anxiously await, the first day of school, buy new clothes, new school supplies, and celebrate the start of a New School Year!

Back to school Tchr888

For me it's literally the start of a new year, even more so than January 1st! It's a fresh start for me as a teacher, and also for my kids and student's. I have butterflies in my stomach, I'm nervous, I'm excited, yet happy...

The days that lead up to the first day, we close our last year (as a family) and talk about summer favorites, our new goals, our new expectations, and family expectations. We talk about our excitements, and if we are going to try anything new or different, then bam, we hit the new school year running and our HAPPY NEW YEAR begins!

I don't know about you, but for me the months of August and September are busy, exhausting, crazy, and definitely a new beginning! For the first six weeks, my life is literally consumed with the new school year, no joke! If you are reading this blog post, I bet you feel the same way! For this reason, I'm having a #backtoschool and #laborday 2015 giveaway Beginning tonight till Monday 9/7 at Midnight (mountain Standard time)! Hard work pays off and Teachers definitely deserve the rest!

How do you celebrate the new school year with your family! Do you have any traditions? Anything your kids look forward too? Leave a comment below with what you and your kids do!
Don't have any kids? How do you prepare, do you have any childhood memories, you would like to share?

Now on to the giveaway:

One lucky winner will receive $50 in Educents Bucks and I have bundled my most popular K-1 items  for a total value of $61.50!

Tchr888 Bundle:
Scuba Counting 0-9: $3.50
Rhyming & Phonics Interactive Journal Activities: $4.00
Learning My Letters Alpha Activities: $4.00

New to Educents??? No Problem: You can sign up here: And Browse hundreds of discounted educational resources!!!! Prices Guaranteed!


Don't Forget to share with your friends and colleagues! Wishing you a Prosperous & Happy New School Year!!

$50 Edubucks and Tchr888 K-1 Bundle

Thank you everyone who entered, Wishing you a wonderful school year!! Jennifer is our giveaway winner! We have emailed you please, email us back! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tchr888 Meets Ecuadorian Teachers

Over the course of this past month, my busy life as a teacher has been quite a journey. One of these experiences is adding to my storybook the opportunity and privilege to collaborate and learn from teacher students from South America, the Country of Ecuador.
Learning from them has been an amazing experience. They are currently teachers in Ecuador and are finishing up their 6-month study abroad courses, and will be going back to work as ESL teachers! Yes! They will be going back to Ecuador and teach English as a Second Language!

Here they are in action!

May I present to you Mr. Fernando, a High School teacher, teaching kindergarten students for the very FIRST TIME and Ms. Sandra an multi-age elementary teacher. 
In their lesson they had to include English Language Learning strategies; while teaching a lesson about their country. 
Can I just say I was so impressed and fascinated by the content of their lesson and activities (I was learning too) I forgot to snap pictures of the activities leading up to their final project! I did learn something new about chocolate and it’s origins, but more, I enjoyed observing them as they taught their lesson. 

It made me realize how much we do as teachers when it comes to prepping and actually teaching a lesson, for kindergarten student's. The attention span of a 5 year old… let me just say, it’s no wonder I always say, “if I could flip over and backwards to engage a student I would!” Next week I get to see them in action again! Can’t wait!

What about you? Have you ever collaborated with teachers from another country directly or indirectly? What was your experiences like? What did you learn from them? What did they learn from you? I would love to hear your stories! Hugs!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pop in for the 2nd & 3rd giveaways

Hi everyone! As I write this post my cute little family and I are on a road trip to the "Happiest Place on Earth!" Our kids are in for an adventure and I can't wait to see our very own little princes stand in awe of all those Disney Princesses! She loves all of them and knows them by name, but what little girl doesn't right??!!! My boys are just as excited, but aren't as expressive as our little one.

The last time I was there was exactly 30 years ago!!! I still remember that family trip like it was yesterday. I'm the eldest of five and my youngest brother was just an infant. In fact my mom has a family picture from Disney, where all of us where dressed in 1920's attire... FUNNIEST picture EVER!!! Talk about nobody posing for that picture with any sort of enthusiasm. I'm determined to take a picture like that with my own family... if they still have them available! I hope my kids treasure these memories and talk about them someday, just like I am now! I am so thankful for my parents, Love you mom and dad!!! (I think I just got teary eyed)

Anyhow, tomorrow June16th a year ago, was the very first time I ever posted a blog, and that's the real reason for this post! In celebration of my one year blogaversary, I have partnered up with Suzy from On The Go Teacher Mama and we giving you all an opportunity to enter our giveaways! Suzy and I are also going together to the iTeackK, iTeach2nd, and TPTVegas2015 Conference. Anyone else going?

We will have two winners and each will walk away with a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate and any ONE product from our TPT stores, so browse through our stores and wish list them! Make sure to enter both giveaways below! Good luck to you all! Wishing you a relaxing and fun summer break! Comment below with your favorite product from any TPT store or the place of your favorite childhood family vacation or trip!

 P.S. I have another giveaway running at the same time... did you already enter?? If not find out here!

$10 TPT gift Certificate and On The Go Teacher Mama     $10 TPT Gift Cerificate and Tchr888

Monday, June 8, 2015

Heart Confessions in Summer Link Up

Heart Confessions in Summer Link Up…    

I'm out on summer break for just a couple of weeks (3 weeks to be exact.) I really don't have a summer because I choose to participate in our school's K-3 Plus program. This program is a State initiative that offers 25 extra days of instruction before the regular school year begins for student's in grades K through 3rd grade. Sort of like and extended school year. Meanwhile that begins, I'm enjoying spending time with my children and trying to relax at home... But I have some Heart Confessions to make! What about you? I would love for you to join me in this linky party about any Heart Confessions in summer you may have as a mom or a teacher, all bloggers are welcome! Here are mine.

Heart Confession #1:

Did you know that we teachers don't really have a summer? I'm talking about the "summer" that most people paint, portray, say, we have! "oh you're so lucky, you get to be home all summer long with your kids and only work 9 months out of the year, right!" Let me begin, by stating that although some teachers may have that kind of summer, the majority of us don't! For example, days after school is out, most of us attend professional developments that last a couple of days, sometimes weeks. We attend summer academies that help us prepare for the following school year! Or in my case, we begin graduate school! It almost feels like you're never done with school! Heart Confession #1: We never Stop Learning!

Heart Confession #2:

 Most teacher's have a book problem! We can walk into any bookstore and go directly to the children's book section (even at garage sales!) This is especially true to me, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, buying books for my kids! This particular bookstore is locally owned and I can find new and used books! My kids and I love going there, we spend hours in there browsing and reading books and always walk out with a bag full of books! Heart Confession #2: We Love buying and reading books!

Heart Confession #3:

I Intentional make time for a healthy lifestyle. I think I can honestly say, that we spend so much time lesson planning, reading, creating, and making activities for our student's that it is so much easier to skip meals and not workout because we simply "DON'T HAVE TIME!" Even during the school year..... I often hear myself telling my husband; "I didn't have time to eat today, I'm starving!" Heart Confession #3: I Intentionally block some weekdays off to practice yoga. While I run every other day and try to eat healthy, I have to be intentional about making sure, I'm healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally! It may sound selfish, but "me" time is super important because if I'm not healthy neither will my kids! Teachers and mommies, please be INTENTIONAL about taking care of yourself!! One day your kids will thank you!

Heart Confession #4: 

I try my best to see possibility everywhere; Even when I'm having a bad day! My mother has always told my sister's and I: "Take one day at a time!" And when you do, you become, my Heart Confession #4: A doer, a thinker, and you see possibility everywhere! I promise you will!

And that's my favorite heart confession! Now it's you turn, just download the first image and create your own list!! Do you have any heart confession? Any tips for me, mommy's and teacher's I would love to hear from you! Wishing you an amazing summer break. 

P.S. Check out these other heart confessions in summer from other teachers and mom's! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tchr888 Blogaversary Giveaway #1

If you would like to know something about me, it is the fact that I love iTunes and Target! In fact I still own and use a Classic 2nd generation iPod! It has over 3,000 songs, not to include videos, and some Sesame Street Shows I downloaded for my 11 year old who was only two then, maybe one!

 Anyhow, I especially love iTunes because of all the different educational Apps teachers can buy to enhance and support student learning. I have my own favorite selection of apps and the types I like to use! To learn more about my favorite apps, click here

I'm sure you have your own wish list you have been wanting to use in your own classroom or perhaps a wish list from target... Who doesn't love that dollar section right at the entrance? I know I do! 

In honor of the hard work and dedication you offer and give to your student's, I'm offering this iTunes and Target Gift Card bundle total value of $35. Please enter below, wishing you all a restful and relaxing summer! Good luck ;)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

TCHR888 1st Blogaversary and Month Giveaways

I am diligently working to get this party started! A year ago I dove into the world of blogging after months of wanting to become a "blogger" and it finally happened! After one year of blogging, I want to celebrate the whole month with giveaways! This is how it will work: I will have three major giveaways. Entries will be open all month long, and winners will be announced on Tuesday, June 30th. 

The Giveaways will be announced once a week every Tuesday at Midnight Eastern US & Canada Time for the following three weeks:
Tuesday, June 2: Giveaway #1
Tuesday, June 9: Giveaway #2
Tuesday, June 16: Giveaway #3

Ironically, Tuesday June 16, is my middle child's 11th birthday and also my blog's 1st birthday! I can't wait to get this party started! Love you guys and thank you for reading and following along! This is my way of saying THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Liebster Award

I'm finally getting around to accepting and answering questions for the Liebster Award I received!
The Liebster Award is a way for newer bloggers, who have less than 200 followers and great content, to link up, meet other bloggers and share a little about themselves! I was nominated by Yukari from A Pinch of Kinder. Thank you so much Yukari! I am so flattered to be chosen by you! :)

Here are the answers to the 10 questions I received:

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
 By the time I post this I'll have been blogging for almost a year! I began my blogging journey last year in June! I started blogging because I love sharing teaching ideas and resources with parents and teachers for different reasons. An example of why I share my teaching ideas and resources is so I can make homeschooling easier for many people out there!
2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Technology..... I started to share meaningful uses of technology in the classroom and for home, but soon it became everything else! It's funny how my brain just began to overflow with ideas. I implemented them, and shared the success with others.
3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
I thought I would have time and energy to blog daily! HAHAA!! What was I thinking???
4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
I love running, yoga and watching TV, when I can, with my kids and hubby!! We love catching up on all of our favorite shows that we DVR. Because we are always so busy, we will sit down and have season marathons!
5. How many hours a week do you dedicate to your blog?
Since I am a newbie and have a crazy schedule (work, family, school, etc.), I like to post at least once a month and at least 2 hours a week. Did I mention I have a list of unfinished posts???
6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I'm not sure if I even have one! I wanted my posts to just revolve around technology use, but I find myself posting about everything from classroom ideas and resources to classroom experiences.
7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My blog inspiration came from my classroom, my students, listening to teacher needs and listening to student needs.  I tend to be a listener, but I can talk just as much! I also like to come up with solutions and ideas to almost any problem.
8. Is there any post that you have been planning to do, but have been postponing it for a while now? 
Umm...yeah!!! It's almost like a laundry list...not to mention all the pictures I have to go with them!
9. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
My favorite aspect of blogging is meeting new people and making new friends. Blogging has truly opened the door to the world and teaching community, something I never really expected!
10.  Which idea from a blog would you like to try yourself?

A blog hop!! I've never been part of an actual blog hop, where I give away my products! I'm usually hopping around liking and downloading freebies, which I LOVE!!
My Nominations

1. Jeanie from Mrs. Humphries Class

2. Najda from Garden Full of Knowledge 

3.Taryn from Taryn's Unique Learning

4. Allie from Having a Fields Day

5. Kelsey from Wife Teacher Mommy

6. Melissa from Teaspoon of Teaching

7. Suzy from On the Go Teacher Mama

To those who have been nominated, here are the "official" rules for accepting: 
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out." (Follow their blog if you haven't already!)  

2. Answer the 10 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).

3. Nominate 5-11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above. 

4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept. 

5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mrs. Bryant are you Rich?...Am I Rich?

As our day came to an end and were getting ready to go home, one of my student’s asked me; “Mrs. Bryant, are you RICH?”
I chuckled and handed her, her snack and I said, “No, why do you ask?”
When I looked into her eyes, something in my spirit nudged me and I quickly changed my response to, “Wait, NO I AM, I AM the richest person in this school building, because you are my student!” She must have not understood what I meant, because she quickly turned to her friend and told her, “See, I told you, she is rich!” and in an instant they both looked at me with such admiration, I was truly humbled!
It may sound so teacher cliché, but this is the truth! In her five year old thinking, she may not have understood my response, but I know that one day she will grow up and remember those words and realize that I was not talking about monetary richness, but life richness!
I say this because, as we walked out to our pick-up area, her words resounded in the inner most part of my soul and triggered so many reasons on why I AM RICH!
You see, it’ s our natural human instinct to think about “richness” solely as monetary gains and dollars in our bank account, but this is not necessarily true!
Think about all the people in the world who are fully loaded, yet have an emptiness, a void that is destroying them little by little! With no hope, no love, an empty life! They are poor in spirit, but rich in money!
So yes I am Rich!
I am Rich with a spirit filled life!
I am Rich with a husband who loves and cares for me!
I am Rich with children I adore and love!
I am Rich with parents who taught me right from wrong!
I am Rich with sisters who are my best friends!
I am Rich with brothers who are strong, brave, and courageous!
I am Rich with students I teach, love, and nurture!

I am Rich and Blessed to be called Teacher!
And so are you! ~Tchr888