March 6, 2019

Plus 1, Minus 1 Bingo: An Addition & Subtraction Fluency Game!

Learning addition and subtraction facts fluently to 5 is quite the task for most kindergarten and first grade students! If they simply learn the concept or adding one and subtracting one, they can tackle a lot of those facts!

Using this game, students begin to strategize by deciding which number to cover, thus learning their facts fluently!

Here is how you play!

1 - Copy enough for your small group or class. I recommend using a fun-colored cardstock and lamenting a few to reuse throughout the year,

2 - Use a 10-sided die (you can get them on Amazon Here. They are honestly my favorite math manipulative!) Students can use the number line at the bottom to add 1 or subtract 1. For example, if the teacher or student rolls a 4, they can subtract 1 to get 4 or add 1 to get 6. They place a chip on the number of their choice.

3 - First player to get 6 in a row wins!

I usually play several rounds. I give this to my educational assistant to play with a group of about 4-5 students during math rotations. Eventually, I put this game in a bucket and the students play together independently!


* This post contains affiliate links

December 31, 2018

Year-End Amazon Deals for Your Classroom

Getting back into the swing of things after a long break is tough. I found some great Amazon deals to help get your classroom ready to go in 2019!

Sharpie 1949557 Color Burst Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 24-Count

List Price: 24.39
With Deal: $8.59
You Save: $15.80 (65%)

All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet | 8" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers

List Price: $79.99
With Deal: $49.99
You Save: $30.00 (38%)

With Deal: $15.00
You Save: 62%

List Price: $39.50

With Deal: $15.00
You Save: 62%

Mr. Sketch 1924061 Washable Scented Markers, Chisel Tip, Assorted Colors, 14-Count

List Price: $14.99
With Deal: $7.19
You Save: $7.80 (52%)

List Price: $72.90
With Deal: $59.99
You Save: $19.96 (25%)

Osmo Genius Kit for iPad

List Price: $99.99
With Deal: $79.99
You Save: $20.00 (20%)

July 11, 2018

22 of My Favorite Things for My Classroom That You Can Order on Amazon Now!

Prime Day is July 16 - July 17 which means tons and tons of deals! This is always a good time to stock up on things for your classroom. Here are 22 of my favorite purchases I've made for my classroom on Amazon. Stock your carts now!

In order to get Prime Day deals, you must have Amazon Prime. To sign-up, use this affiliate link (at no extra cost to you). 

1. These industrial wire bins for your classroom library! These are nice and wide so books of every shape and size can fit!

2. This file organizer with 2 drawers! Perfect for organizing assessments!

3. A paper towel holder because we all know that classroom paper towels don't actually work! This one can be screwed into the wall to save precious table space!

4. These 10-sided decahedral dice! Perfect for using in math games where you need numbers 1-10. These dice in dice provide 2 numbers! Seriously guys, the best ever. You need these!

5. A label maker to make sure everything in your classroom has a place! This baby turned my closet from a hot mess into a perfectly organized space! 

6. These number pops are prefect for students learning numbers 1-10. 

7. These dry-erase fact family boards! I love these because they limit the need for worksheet which means less copying for you! I put these in my math bins as an independent activity during guided math.

8. You will find about a millions ways to use these kitchen timers! They have super strong magnets and clips on the back!

9. These ice cream scented dot markers might be my favorite thing ever! 

10. No more stole Diet Cokes in the crowded faculty fridge with this mini compact beverage refrigerator!

11. These stackable bins are what organized classrooms are made of! I put all of my math stations and word work in here and simply change out the bin as we learn new games. This way I never lose a game piece!

12. Upgrade any surface in your classroom with this marble effect contact paper!

13. Class up your classroom with a glittery chandelier

14. Tiggly interactive learning games for iPad! This is a fun and hands-on way for students of all levels to practice phonics, vocabulary, subtraction, addition, shapes, and so much more!

15. Sugar Rush scented gel pens! I put these in my work on writing area to entice my more reluctant writers. 

16. Gaiam Balance Ball Seat for your wiggly students!

17. This 12-drawer cart for a perfectly organized Work Work station! 

18. This beautiful rose gold framed monthly calendar. Never lose a calendar piece again by using a dry-erase calendar. 

19. A 10-slot dry-erase marker holder wall mount. 

20. The world's cutest and environmentally friendly lunch box set.

21. Enjoy coffee and tea even when you're not on prep with this cordless kettle!

June 12, 2018

Last Day of School Gifts for Coworkers or Students

Let's face it. The end of the school year is CRAZY! As much as I think I prepare for it as spring approaches, it always sneaks up on me! At my school gifts and favors are the norm. Now, I'm a girl on a budget and a tight schedule so I was looking for something original, cheap, and low maintenance. I saw these drink floats on Amazon and just knew this would be my end of year favor.

I posted pictures of the favors I made for my adult coworkers. I made 2 versions. Kool-Aid packets with umbrellas and straws for my students and wine versions for my coworkers who really earned a drink this year (it was a tough one). Here is a list of everything you will need to make these favors (san wine) for your coworkers and students. Good luck!

You'll need:


June 1, 2018

Subscription Addiction: My Honest (and Unsponsored) Review of Subscription Boxes

As summer slowly approaches, I wanted to focus a little less on work and more on the fun little things that make life just a little easier. I've recently become obsessed with subscription boxes. Some have been much better than others so I figured I'd break it down for you in a totally unbiased, unsponsored way. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to share some of my experiences, both good and bad, with subscription boxes!

First, I wanted to begin with my FabFitFun box. I know; I'm basic. I first got the box when I saw they had a Kate Somerville exfoliator I use that costs $75. Considering the box was only $50, I figured I could get that and some other goodies. I was pleasantly surprised when I really liked the other products in the box. Here are my pros and cons of the FabFit Fun Box!

1. It really is a good value
It's sometimes hard to trust all those Instagram #ad posts I see about FabFitFun. I figured it was a box with junk, but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the products in the box. 

2. Customizations
When you subscribe for a year, you get to customize your box! When customizations open, you get to pick out about 4 of the products that go into your box.  

3.  FabFitFun TV
When I subscribed for the year I also go at home workouts and other benefits on their website. I really like the barre classes online!

Final Thoughts: Overall I think FabFit Fun is a great deal and you get tons of cute, high-quality products. If you'd like to see more, use my affiliate link HERE and get $10 off your first box!

May 28, 2018

Digital Behavior Charts Using Google Sheets!

Let's be honest; behavior charts are a lot of work. Between managing each section of the day, sending it home each night, having it returned each day, and making copies for your records, it's no wonder why so many can be less than effective. I utilize Google Apps a lot in my room, and I knew there was a way to use Google as a tool to make my life a little bit easier.

Below is a picture of my behavior chart. I made it using Google Slides. It's super easy to make, but if you want a free copy of mine, head on over to my Instagram page (@happylittlekindergarten) and find out how to get a copy of mine for FREE. 

Here's how I use mine:

1. Instead of sending home a paper each night, I simply share my Google Sheet with the parent. I encourage the parent to download the Google Sheets App on their phone so they can checkin throughout the day. 

2. I also share this with my student on Google Classroom. Tip: Only allow the student to view this in the 'advanced settings'. 

3. Make a copy and add pages for each week. This way you can make sure you have every copy of the behavior chart for your records. 

4. Add comments in sections to describe why the child didn't each a checkmark by clicking 'insert' and 'comment' in the section. This can help explain behaviors to the parent, principal, behavior specialist, etc. 

May 23, 2018

Musical Instrument STEM Challenge

The engineering process is an important step in using STEM in your instruction. I find that many kids these days don't know how to persevere through failures. I've found that teaching the engineering process while teaching STEM lessons helps lesson the helplessness and encourage students to think outside the box.

Here is a STEM lesson I taught and a few helpful tips I learned along the way to limit the chaos! 

1. Teach the engineering process

Focus on the fact that engineers almost never get it right the first time. I show this Kid President video then explain how the engineering process is an ongoing cycle. 

2. Introduce the problem (ask & imagine)

Explain to students that we have to make instruments that make at least 2 sounds. Reiterate that is does not have to look like a traditional instrument. My class had a long conversation about this. I even showed them a Stomp video. I gave out the material list and explained that they could use only 5 items on the list to make their instruments. I gave students time to imagine their concepts and talk about it. 

3. Plan

Students use their planning paper and the materials list to draw out their concepts. My students walked back and fourth between their tables and the materials to get ideas. 


I use a cute stamp to 'approve' their designs. Once approved, students can get materials and begin to design. Some students had a lot of trouble in they stage. I allow students to replan their instrument if an idea isn't working out. Warning: this is messy and loud. Get used to it. 

5. Test and improve

Students use the self-assessment paper to test and improve their designs. I allowed students to redesign or keep their original if they were happy with it. If the students needed something to do they can help a friend or decorate their instruments. 

Because the engineering process is an ongoing cycle, technically you could do this projects for weeks. However, I'll admit I was happy once this was over! It took a little planning and a lot of cleaning, but overall I felt it was successful because my students were able to express themselves creatively, work though problems, and have fun! Good luck!

Get the full lesson plan HERE!

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