Literacy

Data Notebooks

Math

Classroom Safety Drills


Classroom safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!


Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? Today I would like to discuss classroom safety drills and

procedures. It's something that we all have to teach and practice with our kiddos.  As I was thinking

of what I want to cover the first few days of school, I realized that I never really teach safety drills

the same way. I just kind of go over it, we practice it, and BOOM!! Done!


I want to be more intentional on teaching the drills, because it really is a big deal. Five years ago

my school was hit by a tornado, and I'm so glad to say it was early in the morning before anyone

had arrived on campus. So, Classroom Safety Drills was born! This allows me to be able to

have easy to implement lessons to explicitly teach all of the drills.

Fire safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!

This pack covers fire drills, tornado drills, lockdown drills and earthquake drills. Each drill has

a read aloud that can be printed and bound, and it is also in PowerPoint form, so that it can be 

projected on an interactive whiteboard. 
Tornado safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!

After the read aloud, there are a few options. I wanted to include items that could be used in a 

K-2 classroom. So, for our wee little ones, there is a color sheet, and in the margins of the sheet it

says, "Ask me what I learned!". It's a great way for students to continue the conversation at home.
Lockdown safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!
I know that each school across the country uses different terms for a lockdown drill. This section

contains options for lockdown, safety drill, or shelter in place drill. If your school uses something

else, please let me know, and I will add it!


Each drill also includes a reader, and a cut and paste sheet to practice the procedures for each drill. 

There are also awards included for when your students learn the drill procedures. Throughout

the year, as drills are practiced every month, there are mini-awards, or brag tags if you will, for 

students are caught following directions and being good during the drill. 
Earthquake safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!

As you begin your discussion on safety drills, there are also anchor chart headers that will allow

you to record the discussion in your class. They are great to list do's and don't's during drills. 

Classroom safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!

I hope that this helps your kiddos to learn all about safety drills, and why they are necessary! 

For more information click here, or on any of the pictures. 



Classroom safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!Fire safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!Tornado safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!Earthquake safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!Lockdown safety drills and procedures are important skills to practice during the first few weeks of school. This pack contains easy to implement activities and read alouds to make it so much easier!

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6 of the Best Fine Motor Activities

Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? I'm just sitting around thinking about beginning of the year

skills that are always beneficial to focus on, and that got me to thinking about fine motor skills and

how they are necessary in the classroom. Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning

that is often overlooked.


So, what are fine motor skills? Fine motor skills are when the small muscles of the hands, wrists and

fingers coordinate together in conjunction with the eyes. It affects the ability of your students to

write, color, cut, snap, button, buckle, zip, tie shoes, and the list could go on and on!


So today I'm here to share with you guys some fine motor activities that are easy to prep, simple

to implement in your classroom, and cheap to boot.


Shoestrings and Letter Beads

Shoestrings can be found pretty much anyplace, and I've found that it's best to get shoestrings like

the ones in the pictures, rather than the average string like in your sneakers. Average strings are

rather wide, and students may not be able to move the beads as easily. These alphabet beads can

be found at your local Michael's.

Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.

Fuzzy Sticks & Buttons

My kiddos really love this activity (and so do I, it's a great stress reliever, lol)! Sometimes after

they have placed buttons onto the pipe cleaners, they love to twist the ends and make bracelets

and rings out of them! These supplies can easily be found at your local Wal-Mart.

Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.

Lacing Cards

We've all seen the lacing cards that you can purchase for fine motor practice. However, there is an 

alternative and cheaper route! You can use a pack of accents from the teacher store, or you can

even print out pictures from the computer. Laminate them,  punch some holes and voila! 

There you have it! Easy peasy!

Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.

Hole Punches

For some reason, students love to punch holes in things, especially if they can make different 

shapes out of them! I try to get a variety of them, from either Wal-Mart or Michael's. Add some

paper, and they're ready to go!


Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.

Fine Motor Tweezers, Pom-Poms & Ice Cube Trays

I usually buy a ton of pom-poms, of differing sizes, from Wal-Mart's craft section, and then I

just dump them into a large bin. I pass out the fine motor tongs, and the ice cube trays, and I just

let them go to work!


Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.

Play Dough Mats

I think besides the sensory table, our word work center is a kid-approved center. They LOVE

playing with play dough! I like that it gives them continued fine motor practice throughout the

school year as we move towards mastery of the standards. You can find them here!

Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.

These are just but a few of my fave fine motor skills activities that I like to use in my classroom.

If you have any favorites, let me know in the comments!



Fine motor skills are an important part of student learning that is often overlooked. Keep on reading for 6 of the best fine motor activities for kids.
Play Dough is an excellent way to make learning fun, and it also gives students a chance to work on fine motor skills while learning academic content! Play Dough is an excellent way to make learning fun, and it also gives students a chance to work on fine motor skills while learning academic content! Play Dough is an excellent way to make learning fun, and it also gives students a chance to work on fine motor skills while learning academic content! Play Dough is an excellent way to make learning fun, and it also gives students a chance to work on fine motor skills while learning academic content!




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The Best Counting Books for Kindergarten



Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? As I was cleaning up my library area, and sorting and re-sorting

through my library books, I realized that I have a TON of books on counting. Whenever I'm doing a 

thematic unit, or introducing a new topic, or digging deeper in a topic, I love to have awesome read-

clouds that go with our topic. Who am I kidding? I love to read books all of the time! So let's kick it 

off, shall we? Here are 9 of the best books for counting, in no particular order!


Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links.



I love to read Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews at the beginning of the school year! This book

does a great job of introducing early numeracy skills, including the names of the numbers, and a 

picture of how many. I also love the fact its fosters their imagination, and shows them what they

can create. Oh yeah, and each page ends in a rhyme? Winner winner chicken dinner!!




Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow is also a classroom favorite.

There's nothing more entertaining than trying to avoid bedtime! The catchy tale is a great

way to introduce counting backwards as well as taking away one and seeing how many are left.

When one monkey jumps off the bed, I ask them how many are left, and then I ask them 

how they know. I love to hear where their math reasoning skills are!




Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang is a great book about counting backwards. I like that this book 

uses objects that students would recognize from their own homes. We talk about how

we don't only count when we're at school, we can also count when we are at home. I then 

encourage them to see if they can find some of the same objects in their home and count them. 



Now, this book has a special place in my teacher heart. Count and See by Tana Hoban is a 

fave of mine as well. The author is also a photographer, so she used her pictures to create 

a counting book. I love that this counting book is a little different. In addition to the objects

and people that she's taken pictures of, the opposite page has the number, the number word,

and dots to represent the number. This book has numbers from 1-20, and then after 20, it skips

by 10s all the way to 100! So I love that I can come back to this book time and time again!




Ten Little Fish is another great book that begins by counting backwards. I absolutely love the 

graphics of the book, and I love to not only read this book, but we also have what I like to call

my earliest versions of number talks with this book. Each page also ends in a rhyme, so I can

check to see who figures it out!




Mouse Count is a great book for students to count by rote, but I also use it to introduce counting

on and combining amounts. The snake in this book gathers the mice by groups, so we talk about

how many he already has, how many he added to the jar, and how many does he now have in all. 

And, it's super duper cute to boot!



Ten Little Mummies is a book that I like to use after the first several weeks of school have passed.

By this point I have exhausted all of my other counting books!!! When I want to review counting

and talk about adding quantities, I pull this one out. This book begins by counting backwards as well, 

and it also rhymes. 



Ten Little Bears by Kathleen Hague is a counting rhyme that also counts backwards. I like to use

this book after we have already been counting backwards, and so with this book, I will read the

line, and then I let the students fill in the blanks. 




This book is near and dear to my heart. It is actually a book from my childhood. It is a Little

Golden Book, and I still have my copy! In Ten Items or Less, Mandy and her mom are going to run

to the grocery store. While they roam the aisles, Mandy's mom asks her if she wants to play

a counting game. Their goal is to get ten items or less, so that they can check out in the 

express lane. 


I absolutely love to read books to introduce and review any concept that we are going over

in class. I know that teachers love to do read-alouds during reading time, but we definitely need

to remember to do them during math time as well!!


Do you have some favorite counting books that aren't on this list? Let me know so that I can 

add them to my collection!



Here are nine of the best counting books for kindergarten! Perfect for those early numeracy skills!

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Small Box Activities: Endless Bundle


Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? I'm just popping in really quick to share these with you!



So you probably know that I'm in love with these small box activities! I want to make as many as I

possibly can! My kiddos have loved the medial sound activities, as well as the 2-D shapes, 3-D 

shapes and more!


So, recently I've added practice with CVC words. We're at the point of the year where my kiddos

need as much practice as they can get with this skill!

CVC Words: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

We're also practicing our long vowels! That sneaky 'e' can definitely throw us for a loop!

CVCe Words: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

And of course I can't forget my babies who still need practice with letter matching!

This freebie alphabet match center is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy or math center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

I've also spent a little time thinking about those early numeracy skills. Set 1 just has some 

practice with subtizing, number and more, AND it's all in black and white! I just used some 

colorful paper to brighten it up a bit! You can find it here!

Building number sense activities for small boxes are easy to prep and purposeful, and they are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a math center, early finisher work, etc., to help your students to build their numeracy skills!

Cutting practice is something that we can never get enough of, especially early on in the

school year!! I wanted something that was easy to prep, and an activity that students could

do with minimal direction, especially after I've already introduced scissor skills. You can click

here or on the picture below for more info. 

Cutting practice that is fun to do! Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a center, early finisher work, etc.

We definitely do a lot of color and color word recognition at the beginning of the year! Click on 

the pictures below for more details!

Color recognition practice that is fun to do! Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a center, early finisher work, etc.

Color recognition practice that is fun to do! Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a center, early finisher work, etc.




So after creating quite a few boxes, due to popular demand, I created an endless bundle!

I plan to make many of these small box activities, and I wanted you guys to able to find them

all in one place!

Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy or math center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

I absolutely love these activities, and so do my students. They can be used for many things, such

as morning work, a literacy or math centers, early finisher work and so much more! They are 

made to fit right into the hands of your little ones, and I organize them by placing them in these

small boxes, but you definitely do not have to!  You can organize them in any way that you choose!

You can find these activities by clicking on any of the pictures!!

Talk to you later!




CVC Words: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.CVCe Words: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.This freebie alphabet match center is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy or math center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

Cutting practice that is fun to do! Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a center, early finisher work, etc. Building number sense activities for small boxes are easy to prep and purposeful, and they are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a math center, early finisher work, etc., to help your students to build their numeracy skills!Color Recognition practice that is fun to do! Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a center, early finisher work, etc. Color Recognition practice that is fun to do! Small Box Activities are easy to prep activities that are purposeful, and are perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a center, early finisher work, etc.







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2D and 3D Shapes: Small Box Activities


 Hey y'all, how's it going? I'm back with the newest kid on the block in the small box activity line!


So, let's talk about what we have here! I love, love, love these small boxes, and so do my kiddos.

I first started using these small box activities here, and it has just expanded from there! I want to

alternate between math and literacy each time I make a new set.


So this time, I created a set for math!

2-D Shapes: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

They are so versatile, and really lend themselves well to anything, from centers, to morning tubs,

to early finisher activities, etc. You name it, you can use it that way. I really wish that I'd had these

when the skill was taught, but I've found that it's great review work, AND it isn't a worksheet!

BOO-YAH!!!

2-D Shapes: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

And I haven't decided who loves these little erasers more, me or my kiddos. They get so excited

when I pop out the latest ones! These centers are really easy to prep, and if you're really pressed for 

time, just print onto card stock and skip the laminating part! If you need to save on color ink, just 

print off the B&W version onto colored card stock! 

2-D Shapes: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

For this activity, students will cover the shape that matches the master shape in the middle 

of the card. 

3-D Shapes: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

There are also options where students can spin and cover the shape that the spinner lands on. 

3-D Shapes: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

To find more information on the 2-D & 3-D shape small box activities, you can click here and here

To take a peek at the medial sound small box activities, click here.


2-D Shapes: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.3-D Shapes: Small Box Activities is an easy to prep, purposeful activity, that is perfect for little hands. It can be used for morning work, a literacy center, early finisher work, etc. Any type of manipulative can be used for this activity, including but not limited to counters, coins, or erasers.

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Setting Goals in the Primary Classroom

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? Today we're going to talk about goal setting!!!



Previously we discussed introducing data notebooks in your classroom, and we've talked about the 

next steps to get them up and running. The next part that I've found difficult to achieve in a primary 

setting is how to get students this young to set goals. I can definitely tell you that goal setting is a lot 

of work! So, let's dig in, shall we?


What is goal setting?

Why, I'm so glad that you asked! It's so much more than thinking about where we want to be. 

Yes, we do begin with the end in mind, and we think about where we want to end up. It also involves 

creating an action plan, with steps that are clearly defined. At this early stage, we (teachers) put an 

action plan together, and we take clearly defined steps. Students at this young age normally sit this 

part out! I do like to include the students, and I just simply say to them that we're going to work 

together, and pick what we need to work on and learn about. Then, we focus on the learning 

process, rather than concentrating on the outcome. 


What does goal setting do for your students?

I've always questioned goal setting for young students, because sometimes I think that we can try to 

make them be mini-adults all too often. However, if done correctly, it can promote focus,

by giving them something to zero in on, and it can motivate your students. 

This is especially helpful to students who struggle with school, it can provide them with a strong 

sense of purpose. 


Where do I start?

So, before you can help your students to set goals, you must have a starting point.  

What does this mean? Baseline assessments! After taking a peek at your data, and seeing where 

your students are, that's when the goal-setting can begin.



Mistakes in goal setting

Once you and your students plunge into discussions on the results of their baseline assessments 

and begin to have a dialogue about possible goals, it's important to avoid the pitfalls of goal setting.




We can sometimes set goals that are too big. For instance, in Kindergarten, an end-year goal is for

students to be blending CVC words. However, if a child is struggling with letter recognition,

then blending should not be their immediate goal. 


Sometimes we can have too many goals. This can be incredibly overwhelming to little ones. 

Once this happens, they tend to give up. It's important to only have a few, so that they can 

concentrate fully on those. 


Often we set goals that are too broad. For instance, we can have students who need to work on

phonemic awareness. But we need to help our students to narrow their focus. Perhaps on the first 

go around, work on identifying rhyming words, and initial sounds. Goals should be specific!

Now, I know that these examples are a little to the extreme, but I hope that you get what I mean!



When I've tried goal setting before, it was quite a difficult task, especially with primary students.

Many of them are in different stages of the developmental progression of writing. So, having them

to write their own goals was out the door. And I definitely didn't want them to copy it from the board.

Goal setting for students can promote focus on the learning process, rather than the outcome. Setting goals in the primary classroom can be easy!

So I created these cut-and-paste goal sheets, where you and your students can set as many or as

little goals that they can handle. I like to do a mix of personal goals, such as tying shoes, or taking

care of their coats, etc., and some academic goals thrown in there as well. You can find these and

more by clicking here

Goal setting for students can promote focus on the learning process, rather than the outcome. Setting goals in the primary classroom can be easy!

Goal setting in the primary classroom needs to be something that is attainable and measurable. 

If not, then your students will not ever care about setting goals. When your students reach a goal? 

Celebrate!! Make a big deal out of it!


This is not something that is easy, and I make mistakes every year. But you know this! HAHAHA!

As teachers, we learn on the fly by trial and error. If you have any questions or comments,

please let me know!


Goal setting for students can promote focus on the learning process, rather than the outcome. Setting goals in the primary classroom can be easy!
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