New Blog Design...

This blog has been eating up crazy amounts of time lately, not writing it or preparing it.  No, not that at all.  I keep playing with the blog design.  I know they say pick something and stick with it but nope, not me!  I fiddle with it almost every day.  As I'm sitting here at 12:25 in the morning and my family has been sleeping for HOURS I think I'm going to call it quits- at least for now.  :-D  So I'm dying to know, what do you think of it at this point?  I know it has lots of work to be done but I would LOVE some feedback!  :-)

Silly Dance Contest

I LOVE Jim Gill!  He was a favorite of mine when I was teaching preschool.  Now that my daughter is in preschool he is resurfacing!  I have used him with students all the way up to third grade and everyone loves him!  One of my personal favorites is the Silly Dance Contest.  (The song starts at the 30 second point.)

What are your favorite songs of his?  Do you have any others that are awesome for brain breaks?  

Liebster Award

Holy Smokes!  I've been nominated for the Liebster Award! Three Times!   Thanks to Kindergarten Faith, A Basket Full of Apples, and Mrs. Payton! In German, Liebster means dearest and this award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about their new blogs.

The Rules:
-You must post 11 random things about yourself.
-Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
-Create 11 questions for the people you nominate
-Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
-No tag back (but please leave a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you!)

Random Facts
  1. This is my 8th year in Education!  I have been at three different schools in four different positions.
  2. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE doing Professional Development!  My goal is to one day provide professional development full time.  
  3. I have two amazing children!  The are even more ornery than their father!
  4. St. Patrick's Day is my favorite holiday
  5. When I read a novel, the world stops- laundry piles up, dishes don't get done, and I don't even check my e-mail.
  6. I am a huge Apple nerd.  I would be lost without my MacBook.  :-)
  7. I am a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer, Microsoft Innovative Educator Master Trainer, and a SMART Exemplary Educator.  
  8. I love web site development.  There is nothing quite like it- I love the ability that I can create something that anyone worldwide can visit at any time and get a glimpse into my world.
  9. I would like to become a Master Teacher one day.  Has anyone done this?
  10. Up until this award, I thought I was the only one visiting my blog.  :-)  

11  Questions from Kindergarten Faith

1. When did you start blogging?
October of this year.  I have a goal of 50 posts by Christmas... I'm almost there!

2. Why did you start blogging?
I find amazing things online and wanted a place to share my ramblings about what I find.  I keep track of all of my favorite websites and activities on  and wanted somewhere to talk about what I have found.

3. If there was one thing that you could share with new teachers what would it be?  
Do not spend your life savings on materials for your classroom that first year.  I inherited a ton of amazing material from retiring teachers, garage sales, and from my own children.  I cringe when I think about how much I spent that first year.

4. What is your favorite thing to do?
Learn.  Dorky as it sounds, I love learning something new tech wise everyday.

5. What is your favorite kind of ice-cream?
Ummm... I guess vanilla.  

6. Would you rather snow ski or swim in the ocean?
Swim in the Ocean. Hands down.

7. What is your favorite book?
Can I give a top ten list?  Recent favorite- 13 Reasons Why

8. What is the craziest thing a student has ever told you?
Great question and I have no idea.  I'll come back to that... hmmm.....

9. What is something you have learned from your students?
It's the little stuff that matters the most.  Say thank you.  Listen to their story.  Care

10. What do you look forward to the most about blogging?
Hopefully meeting new people and having a record of all of the new discoveries.  :-D

A Basket Full of Apples

1. What is your favorite place to travel to?
Boston!  I love that place!

2. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not at school?
Play with my two sweet babies!

3. What is your favorite blog to follow?
Free Tech For Teachers

4. What is your favorite thing to do with your class?
Dr. Jean's cheers

5. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer

6. What is your advice for a new teacher?
Do not spend your life savings on materials for your classroom that first year.  I inherited a ton of amazing material from retiring teachers, garage sales, and from my own children.  I cringe when I think about how much I spent that first year.

7. What is your favorite site to get cute clipart?
Maree Truelove off of Etsy

8. What is your favorite children's book?
Pete the Cat or the Hunger Games

9. What is your favorite grown up book?
The Help

10. What is your favorite food treat?
Resee's Pumpkins at Halloween

11. What is your best accomplishment?
Becoming a Google Certified Trainer!  Wahoo!

Mrs. Payton Precious Kindergarteners

1. Why did you start blogging?
To keep a record of my learning and teaching throughout the year.

2. If you didn't teach the grade you taught, what grade would you teach?

3. What's your favorite thing about teaching?
The kids!

4. Favorite place to shop?
Target!!!!  The best place ever!

5. Favorite drink?
Dr. Pepper

6. Favorite sweet food?

7. Favorite place to vacation?
Punta Cana for our honeymoon was AMAZING!

8. How long have you been teaching?
This is my 8th year.  I honestly cannot believe it has been that long!

9. What job would you have if you weren't a teacher?
A computer programmer!

10. What is your least favorite thing about teaching?
The never ending piles of paperwork.  :0

11. What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?
My two sweet little kids!

My Liebster Award Nominations!

Using My Teacher's Voice
HI Tech Coach
I Dream of First Grade
Motivating Middle School Students
Mindful Rambles
Multiage Days
The Juggling Teacher
Learning Required

My Eleven Questions

1. Favorite Source for Clipart
2. Favorite Web 2.0 Tool
3. Do you have children?
4. Tell something about your most memorable student
5. What position would you like to retire in?
6. What state/country are you in?
7. What technology do you have in your classroom?
8. What piece of technology would you like to have?
9. Do you have a classroom theme?
10. What is your number one selling item on Teachers Pay Teachers if you sell?
11. What is your favorite freebie you have found on TpT?

Christmas Time is Almost Here!

As I'm watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer with my daughter who is in LOVE with Christmas movies, I just realized I haven't posted my Christmas resources yet.   The month of December is always so crazy- with music practices, assemblies, parties, and just general craziness and with FOUR FULL WEEKS until Christmas I feel as though the bag of tricks needs to be especially full this year!  I have compiled several Christmas games and activities to help fill those little bits of time.  Check them out on 

A bit of shameless self promotion.  I apologize in advance, I won't make this a habit.  I have been spending YEARS creating and sharing resources on various sites at no cost, anyhow I joined TeachersPayTeachers and only posted free items for a very long time but I have just posted my first paid items.  I know a huge step... I'm sure I won't get rich but hopefully I sell something to at least put a little dent into my monthly clipart bill, or the costs of keeping running.  So here are my first resources available for purchase!

PowerPoint of Fry's Third Hundred Words

Fry's Second Hundred Words PowerPoint

Fry's First Hundred Words PowerPoint

Thanks so much!  :-D

Manic Monday Freebie!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

It's Monday and that means a freebie.  In this case several!  I have shared 5 math PowerPoints including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and basic geometry.  These are a great addition to any classroom- knowing your math facts can really make all of the difference!  :-)  

You can get all five of these downloads on I have been working on this site for about 5 years.  Whenever I find a resource that I don't want to loose I put it on here- almost like Pinterest before Pinterest!  However, these are all kid appropriate resources- something that I would feel comfortable sending home with students to practice at home.  :-)  Check out these games to help support your math instruction.

Be sure to like on Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest additions.  :-)  Please feel free to share this resource with your students and parents!  If you have any other ideas for more of these type PowerPoints/Resources please let me know.  I enjoy making them!

Cyber Monday Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers

Have you heard?  On Monday and Tuesday there will be a huge Cyber Monday and bonus Tuesday sale where stores will be discounted up to 30%.  That's huge!  Everything in my store will be 30% off!  :-)  Get your wish lists ready so you will be able to quickly find what you are looking for.  Very exciting!  On a side note I had my very first sale!  WAHOO!  Tons of downloads on the free material but a sale on a paid item!  Awesome!


Facebook. 5 years ago.

Remember this?  It is amazing how quickly things change and how easily I forget what things used to look like!

This is from BuzzFeed's article of 48 things that will make you feel old.  Check. It worked!  How long have you been on Facebook?  Do you like's facebook page?

Mr. Sully's Demonstrations

Have you seen this YouTube Channel yet?  Mr. Sully is a Chemistry teacher that I have had the extreme pleasure of working with.  He tapes all of his experiments and posts them to his own YouTube Channel.  It is amazing the amount of demonstrations that he does with his students and the are loving it.  I love that he explains not only what is happening but also the why.  These videos seriously make me wonder why I didn't take Chemistry in high school! Take some time and look at these, there is no shortage of flames and explosions!  While you are there, be sure to become a follower of his YouTube Channel!  Check out this and other Chemistry resources here.

Do you Wordle?

Wordle? Wordle? Anyone? is one of the very first web 2.0 tools I fell in love with.  You enter a bunch of Words and it displays the words that are used the most the biggest and those that are used the least the smallest.  I really like to use this with students because it not only doesn't require a username and password but it can be quickly be used to see if what you are trying to say is what you are really writing about.  For example, as you will see in the video below I entered the URL for this blog and it took the word that was mentioned the most the biggest.  Unfortunately, this word is NOT what I want to write about... well I guess it is sorta but I need to be more specific in my posts.  Want to know what word it was?  Well, I'm not telling because it will make that word appear even bigger!  (If you watch the video you will see the word).  :-)  Here is a tutorial of how to use Wordle

Interested how you can use this in the classroom?  Here are 46 (and growing) awesome ways to use Wordle in the classroom!  Amazing!  :-)

Check out other Web 2.0 Tools on  So will you Wordle?

Thanksgiving Games and Resources

Even though my very last post was about Christmas, I'm going to back up a little and talk about Thanksgiving.  I have compiled several games, information, and a video about Thanksgiving.

I have gone through all of these games and activities and all are very student friendly.  :-)  You can check out these activities here

Common Core Resources

If you are anything like me, you are a little bit panicky about this whole common core thing!  ;-)  I've been trying to add all of the quality resources that I have found to one central location.  I haven't really added anything with people selling stuff because there is nothing worse than finding something amazing and then realizing that it costs more than you make in a week.  :-)  I know it is a necessary evil, but see what you can get for free before you buy lots of things!  Check out these resources and let me know the ones that I need to add!  


Creating a strong passwords is extremely important today.  With so much important information linked to all of our accounts we really need to keep them straight.  However, if you are anything like me sometimes, it takes quite a while to get logged onto some of my lesser used accounts.  This comedians video seriously cracked me up.  :-)

Hope that you were as amused as I was!  On a side note, here are some helpful tips to create a strong password that is easy to remember. 

And here is the list of the 370 most common passwords used on Twitter, but I imagine that the list fairly universal.  If yours is on the list, I would strongly consider changing it!  Do you have any helpful password tips?

Spell with Flickr

Have you heard of this site?  It is seriously one of the easiest sites ever to use.  You type in any word that you would like and then click spell.  The site then pulls images of letters off of Flickr to make your word.  You can click each letter to change how it appears in your word.  Awesome!  I made a quick tutorial video that is embedded below you can also view it on on the Technology Page.

I'm hoping to make this a regular thing so if there are other sites you want covered first let me know!  

What Do You Love?

What Do You Love? Is a Google Sponsored Site where you type in what you love and you are given a quick overview of what is on the web in regards to your topic.  Results include: Translations, Popularity, books, Explore in 3D, videos, pictures, alerts, find nearby, patents, debates, e-mail, earth, events, blogs, and several more.  This would be a great way for students to select a topic- they are able to see just at a glance if their topic is what they think it is.  It would help to eliminate things that are not interesting to them right off of the bat.  

You can find this site along with many others on on the Technology Tools Page.So, What is it that you love?  Where you surprised to get the results that came up?  

Freebie! Math Power Points!

Check out these FIVE free math fact Power Points!  I have addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and basic algebra.  I often used these in the morning while the kids were coming in, or at a time when I wasn't directly teaching.  A little extra math review is always a good thing!  You can snag these on on the Math Facts Page.  Have ideas for more?  Please let me know!  Also, if you want to check out tons of other freebies, take a look at the link below!  



Have you seen this site?  This may be a new favorite-  it is chocked full of clipart.  She has tons of freebies and clipart bundles.  I have just recently started to care about making things "pretty", okay I cared but I was much more worried about the content and the skills that were taught than how it looked.    But I am in love with her clipart.  :-)

My other tried and true site and actually the one where 90% of my clipart has come from. 

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this lady!  I have bought everything through her Etsy shop.  So far, everything has been delivered within 24 hours!  

What are your favorite sources of clipart?  I know there are more out there!  I'd love to hear your go to shop!

Interactive Math Games at

This is very similar to yesterday's posts about reading games but on I also have math activities on this site.  Math games have been one of my most popular games on the site.  Categories of games include: counting, addition, ordinal numbers, subtraction, multiplication, money, fractions, division, place value, decimals, Algebra, equations, story problems, integers, order of operation, ratios and proportions, input/output tables, geometry, volume, circumference, and probability.  Each of the pages have tons of free resources, videos, activities and games.  Check them out here. Do you know any other resources that I have missed?

Maniac Monday Classroom Freebie- Dolch Sight Word PowerPoints

I have finally finished all of my sight word Power Points!  Wahoo!  4 Power Points in all!  Primer, First Grade, Second Grade, and Third Grade.  Included on this page are 11 Fry Word PowerPoints and 8 interactive games.  Download them here.   The sight words activities along with many others are all housed on the reading page. They are located at the bottom of the page.  Please feel free to look around the site, there are freebies tucked away in many places!  Any ideas for future freebies or topics to include on  I want something that can be used by the masses and helps to incorporate technology.  Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Electoral College Calculator

Have you seen this?  The National Archives have an electoral college calculator that allows you to mark which states went democrat, republican and third party.  From there it adds it for you.  This would make a great tool for students (and adults) who are keeping track of how the election plays out and allows you to keep the information at your finger tips.  Check out the calculator here.

This and many other resources to help teach about the elections are located on on the elections page here.  Do you have any other election resources that I have missed?


Have you been to this site yet?  Love it!  It takes select content from YouTube and adds the year to the content.  Videos selected include commercials, television, video games, current events, sports, movies and music.  These videos are then searchable for year.  Awesome feature for any class that needs to understand what was happening in the world in a certain year.  It is also a lot of fun to look at the popular commercials and movies from the year that you were born.  You can also look at past political campaign commercials.  Love this site!  Check out the first Apple commercial from 1977 It makes me wonder what technology will be like in another 30 odd years.  I have this resource along with several more on the history page at  Enjoy!

Like us on Facebook! is now on Facebook.  I know, Get excited!  :-D  I  I have a goal of 50 fans before Friday... cross your fingers!  'm hoping to use Facebook and the blog to get as many resources out to the teachers and students as the world as possible.  I feel like I always say this but it seems like the time is so much better spent if you can share what you have done.  So hopefully lots of people are able to use the games and resources instead of just me!  As a side note, I debating my next project, what do you fell is missing on

Don't forget to like us on Facebook!  It will make my day!

Interactive Reading Games at

I have been working on this for YEARS!  I have taken all of my favorite reading sites and divided them into different categories sight words, word families, vowels, vocabulary, synonyms, root words, context clues, inferences, grammar, oxymorons, and more.  There are actually 26 different categories.  Inside each of these categories there are anywhere from 5 to 30 games.  Check it out!

Bubble Gum Sight Word PowerPoint

Hello!  I have been working hard on creating a PowerPoint for all of the words on the Dolch grade 3 word list.  I have finally finished and I think it turned out really cute!  Each word has its own slide and the it is set to have one new slide every three seconds.  I have this listed in TPT for free.  :-)  Snag it here!  Hope you are having a great day!

Sight Word Games

Sight words are one of those things that require lots of repetition for a student to learn.  I'm always looking for new ways to help student's practice their words.  I've searched the web and have compiled some of my favorite games for learning sight words here.  These and thousands of other games are located on  Do you have any others that I left out?  Enjoy!


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