Substitute Survival Kit

Wouldn't you rather just go to school deadly sick instead of planning for a sub? Every time I have a substitute I have a little panic attack. I want everything to be perfect.

I posted awhile back about how I plan for a sub.  I wanted to share some more ideas with you in a this packet that I created. It's all about organization. And that's what I've done for you. 

*Sub Tub: Decorative tag and directions are included.

*Substitute Binder: Directions and title pages included.

*Sub forms: Included in this packet are the notes from the sub, a note from the teacher, allergy information, and class information. 

*Secret Message: This is an activity where you will leave your students a secret message. Your sub will guide the students through decoding the message. 

*Treasure Chest: This is a behavior management tool for the substitute to use. This includes 2 activities to go along with it.

Click {here} to check it out!

Do you have any tips about planning for a sub?  
If I created pre-made emergency sub plans, is that something you could use?

What I've been doing

I've been doing a lot of this {grading}:
I put this on here because that is some goooood handwriting that I'd like to promote. And shout off of the roof tops. And do a happy dance because of it.
If you want to download the spelling test, you can get it {here}. PLEASE SEE BELOW ABOUT HOW TO DOWNLOAD FROM GOOGLE DOCS.

and a bit of that {100's Day}:

Anticipating this:

Makin' this Substitute Survival Kit {you can find it in my TpT store}:

And a lot of  Common Core writing {Thanks to the most FABULOUS Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher :

A story about when I was sick:

Because my firsties are still struggling a bit with sequencing, I made this graphic organizer {Thanks for the ideas for the wording, Amy from Step into 2nd}:

And I made this paper to go with it:

You can download this freebie {here

 *WARNING*!!! Before you download, please do NOT click "share" when you get into Google Docs.  Just go to file {the Google Docs File, not your web browser's file} and click download. This will download it to your computer. Google Docs will also save that document in your files without even downloading it. All you have to do is click {this} link, but don't click "share".

And I'm REALLY preparing for this TOMORROW {I've got my cart full already}:

My store and Natalie's Store will be 20% off, PLUS, use the promo code L2P9Y and get 10% EXTRA off!
Check out this list of sellers whose shops will be on sale and a  link to a sale linky party too!

Oh ok?  Love you!

Leap Day!

Apparently February 29th is Leap Day! To be honest, I would have never even realized it if it weren't for being a teacher!  I learn a lot at calendar time each day. :)

This sale will only come once every 4 years!
You'll get 20% off in ALL of these TpT stores, 
PLUS an extra 10% off if you use the promo code L2P9Y

Thanks, Cheryl, for making this cute graphic!
Click on the picture above! It will take you to google docs and then you can click on any of the blue links and it'll take you right to their store! :)

So, head to our shops on Leap Day and use the code!

I know with over 7,000 sellers on TpT, we won't be able to advertise for everyone, BUT you can comment in this post and leave us your store's url if you're having a sale!

Do you want to advertise your sale?  Go to this linky party and LINK up! :)


WOW! 836 entries in our Dr. Seuss giveaway! That's unreal!  Because of the huge response, we've decided to have 10 winners!

Here's what they've won!!!! {I'll be emailing you soon}

Check out Kathleen's great packet {here} and her blog, Growing Kinders, {here}
You've got to see Elizabeth's blog {here} and her cute packet on TpT {here}.

This is Deanna Jump's packet! Check out her blog {here} and her TpT store {here}. Love it!
You can find my Dr. Seuss themed Centers {here}

Sorry for the lack of posting! It's REPORT CARD TIME!
You'll forgive me, right?

Spring is here!

Ok, not really.  But...I consider March 1st the first day of spring.  If you don't, you should start!  It's fun to wear flip-flops when there is still snow on the ground! :)

As our state moves to the new Common Core MATH, I'm trying to get ready! I've realized it's not a whole lot different from what we already do, but there are a few differences. I like what I see! :)  Even if you haven't moved to the new Math Common Core, I promise it'll be worth it.

Here are some math centers for you that will keep your kiddos busy from March all the way to May!

This packet of 13 springtime math centers are perfect for March, April and May. They align with the Common Core Math Standards for 1st grade, but would also be appropriate for kindergarten and 2nd grade. Perfect for math tubs!

All center activities come with a black/white and colored option {they all include one or more recording sheets}.

*Common Core Alignment Sheet
{shows you how they correlate with the CCSS}
*Rain, Rain, Go Away! {Place Value}
*Don't Eat the Jelly Bean! {120's chart}
*Time is Flyin'! {hour and half-hour practice}
*True or False? {Determining equal number sentences}
*Let's go Fly a Kite! {Measuring with non-standard units}
*Order up! {Ordering 2 digit numbers from least to greatest}
*10 More/Less
*Egg Drop {Place Value}
*A Puddle of Fractions 
*Sunny Subtraction
*Cloud Addition
*Turnaround Facts
*Greater Than and Less Than


Did you all hear about the Dr. Seuss copyright debacle?'s the Seuss police! I must be very, very quiet.  I had to change the name of my Dr. Seuss on the Loose Centers. Apparently "Dr. Seuss" is copyrighted. The name? Really? But maybe it's not. There is LOTS of confusing and I'd rather be SAFE than  SORRY!  So...the new and completely CREATIVE name is...

Drum roll....

Wow...I completely amaze myself. Do you love it?

Civil War Online Resources

I was able to attend a great training today all about slavery, the Civil War and reconstruction. One of the presenters shared some online resources that are interactive and fun for students. Instead of writing the websites down down on a sticky note where I'll never be able to find them again, I thought I'd post them on here so you {and I} will be able to find them when it's time to teach about this time in history.

1. Mission US - Interactive Simulation Game

2. National Geographic Underground Railroad - Interactive Learning Activity

And.... in honor of President's Day...

And... Just because I know you all like free downloads! Here's a copy of the Gettysburg Address for you to download. I've bolded and underlined the parts that I feel should be read with extra annunciation. Tell students to speak with power and conviction when reading it aloud. You may possibly challenge students to memorize the entire Gettysburg Address, or at least the very first sentence. 
(Click HERE to download!)

Common Core and You {Part 4}

I've got some freebies for ya!

Here's just a quick post showing you the posters I've made the past couple of months that align with the Common Core.  I hang these in my classroom and my students use them all the time to refer to!

Have you noticed your kiddos struggling with this concept?

I made the posters and a little word work game to go along with the three sounds of "ed".

Punctuation is such a tough one. Kids are using periods on every other word, question marks where there should be exclamation points and sometimes there' punctuation at all.

I made these posters that I have in my classroom all year. At the beginning of the year, when I'm teaching about expression, I use the worksheets so that we can practice reading with expression in response to punctuation {just like the common core says I have to}.

These FREE posters are aligned with the 1st grade Common Core, but can be used in K-3.

This one's available in my TpT store for FREE!

Do you see how I spend my Friday nights? WINNER! :)

Some frames courtesy of
Some frames courtesy of

I know you want to know...

I know you want to know if you won our giveaway!  But listen, if you didn't win you can contact my Thirty-One Independent Consultant Liz: or visit her site {here}.

Here are the winners {I'll be contacting you both *soon*}:

Wait!!! There's more!
If you STILL think you have a chance of winning a bag, fear no more!  
You have one more chance to win! 
One of my bloggy friends, Melanie is having a Thirty-One giveaway on her blog! YAY!
  Head over there 

WAIT!  The fun isn't over!!!!  I want to tell you about a FABULOUS blog!  
Have you been over to Heather's 
Heart?  Ohmyword. She's the most sweet thing EVER! 
She gives away tons of freebies and has some 
fabulous ideas.  I just love her and her blog! You have to check out her math games.
AND...she's giving away one of these super CUTE shirts!  You get to customize it!

She's also giving away 2 units from my TpT store and a music CD to use in 
your classroom! WOW!!!

Head over to Heather's Heart and join in on the fun!


I got an iPhone a couple weeks ago and I am obsessed with two little fun games: Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends. Both games are so much fun to play! I like the strategy involved, I like trying to beat my best score, I like having something that challenges my brain a little.

This got me thinking about how I could use some of these games inside my classroom. Afterall, they involve skills in spelling, vocabulary, phonics, etc... I knew my students could benefit from these fun making-words type activities.

Here's what I have come up with so far. A game I call, Scramble with Students. It is similar to Boggle or Scramble with Friends, but it is adapted so your students can play. It makes a fun game to play as a whole class, in small groups, or with partners. It would even make a great self-start or fast-finsher activity for students to do on their own.

Here's a free copy of the game board, if you'd like to try it out with your students:

I did this one with my students today and they L-O-V-E-D it! I set the timer for 5 minutes and when it beeped, students had a range of anywhere from 7-21 words on their lists. After we started looking at it as a class, we made a list of all the words we found together and we ended up with 77 {seventy-seven} words!!  They are so excited to try again tomorrow (with a different list, of course) and see how many words they can find!

For the full version that includes 26 different game boards (plus one blank card so you can make your own) click: HERE.

This unit was recently updated!  Here's a peek at the new look!

Management Monday - Read-A-Thon

Do you have your students earn 'mystery motivator' points for good behavior? If so, you might want to see how I use a class READ-A-THON as a reward for my class.

My class read-a-thon is something I look forward to all year long. I only do it once a year and I make my students earn it. It is a fun celebration of reading that promotes good reading habits!

Here's a copy of the note I send home to parents to inform them of the upcoming read-a-thon.

For a successful read-a-thon, here are some things to do before/during a read-a-thon:
  • Send a note to parents in advance (Click HERE to download)
  • Let students wear pajamas and bring snacks
  • Make it a fun celebration of reading
  • Write your rules on the board and go over them (see below)
  • Plan little reading activities to do during the day (see below)
  • Make sure your students have a chapter book (or for younger grades, a book box to get them through the day)
  • Move all desks to the side of the classroom. Let students find a comfy spot somewhere in the room. Let them use their blankets and pillows, if they brought them to school.
  • Have a spot on the white board where students can list the books they finish during the read-a-thon. It's fun to see how many books get read throughout the day!
My Rules for a read-a-thon:
  • Read, read, read!
  • Eyes in books
  • No talking, only reading 
I always tell my students that it's a read-a-thon, not a talk-a-thon. :)

Reading Activities:
  • Set a timer, when it goes off, have everyone meet together and read a picture book aloud to students.
  • Handout copies of a poem. Have students read them aloud with a partner to practice fluency.
  • If weather permits, take kids outside to read on the grass.
  • Invite a younger (or older) class to come in for storytime. Have your students read a story to them. 
  • If possible, take your kids to the school library to read.
Do have any other fun read-a-thon ideas?? I'd love to hear!! 

EDIT: Tina from Quench Your First pointed out that she does a read-a-thon to celebrate Read Across America Day, which is coming up on March 2nd. If you'd like to celebrate too, here's an edited note for you to send home: 

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