Sunday, May 28, 2017

One Game, Six Ways (Morning Meeting)

I started to play POP about five years ago during Morning Meeting. My kiddos love it and when asked, "What game should we play?" POP is almost always the answer.  I'm not sure if you play the same way, but I play it like this:

1. I pick a number...say 11.
2. We stand in a circle and start counting off one by one.
3. When the person who is 11 goes, he says, "POP"  and pops down to sit.  (Some teachers start sitting down and pop up.)
4. Next person starts at 1 and it begins again. Play continues until only one person remains.  We call the winner the King or Queen of Pop!

Yep.  That simple.  Here are some variations that my class has really enjoyed.

Play in Spanish or another language.  Okay...secret here.  I needed a chart sheet when counting in Spanish beyond ten so I actually made a set of these and hung them up.  A lifesaver for me!  :)

Count Back:  Start at any number and count down to 1 with a POP on the way.

Pick a DIGIT: Example: Any number with a 3 in it, you must POP.  They LOVE this one because the 30s wipe out 10 kids in quick succession!  The first time I did this, the look of shock was picture worthy!! Now they are prepared for the massive sit downs!

POP 1-2-or 3:  This has become our new favorite and involves a bit of skill.  Again, select a number. This time, kids can say 1, 2, or 3 numbers in a row.  For example: Number is 14.  First person can say 1 OR 1,2 OR 1, 2, 3  Next person can say 4, 4,5, OR 4, 5, 6.  Always interesting when you get close to the chosen number and see the kids trying to figure out if student next to them will be saved or out. EX: student next to me said 12...and then looked up and smiled a sly smile at me.  Then said 13.  So I was 14.  POP!  Little rascal got me out on purpose!  Always lots of laughs!

Skip Counting: This one takes longer because I usually pick a very high number like 120 that we not only COUNT to and Pop before starting all over again, but I make them say the number and the digits.  Why?  Because kids have a tough time with 105 when writing it (That tricky does it go?) or 102, 104, etc. if playing by skip count by 2.  (I usually say, "Let's start at 100 and skup count by 2s to 120)  This game has really helped kids solidify skip counting skills!

Hope this has given you a few new ideas to try at Morning Meeting!  Have a great day!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti

Two years ago, one of my students had the cutest shirt on with this saying.  Since then, it's become our class motto.  Now I've been kicking it up a notch leaving these on desks (message on back):


They are pint size so easy to print four on a page.  

It's a great way to strengthen the home/school connection too!

I've also given to teachers who have done something especially kind so they can hang in the room.

Sometimes it's a challenge to do the KIND thing for little ones (heck, big people too!) 
but I have lots of reminders around the room:

This year, I'm going to give one of the full-size posters (printing on card stock) to my class as an end-of-the-year gift BUT I'm allowing them to pick their own color.

I was going to frame them but have decided to simply attach curly ribbon on the back so they can hang it easily anywhere at home.  Plus, it will save me a ton of money. 

I'm going to frame one of the You Threw Kindness Around Like Confetti posters for my room mom and have each child sign the back of the frame.  Gift giving made easy this year!!  If you need a gift, you can easily make this or check out my store.  Lots of way to use the product!

Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Problem Solved: Hundreds Chart Tool

A few years ago, I saw translucent tiles that could slide into the little pouches in your 100/120 chart to "highlight" number patterns.  What a great visual, huh?

 Problem was I wasn't spending $15 on them.  I looked everywhere for a cheaper set and couldn't find any at all.

really, really, really, really, really, really

Now thanks to this...


I have a few sets in yellow, blue, red, and green!  I don't know how I survived so long without them.  Honestly, it makes learning to skip count so much easier.

It's a bit embarrassing that it took me so long to realize that you can cut up a translucent FOLDER into small squares and use them.  Cost?  Under a buck!

Easy breezy!  Oh, so easy!  If you already did this, A+ for you!  
If not, get thee to the closest Dollar Store and have at it!  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Shout Out To My Better Half

My FABO husband, John, is also a teacher, media specialist AND an author!  Yep- we have co-written a few books together:

Our collaboration was a smooth one and truly 50/50. He's an amazing historian and researcher and the books above required such attention to detail.  Excuse me while I brag a little more about him!

He was named Teacher of the Year in his school this year!  WAHOO!  SO WELL-DESERVED!

The Mullarkey Fam is BEYOND excited for him!  He's going to be honored at a Board of Education meeting is a few weeks:  Sarah will be home from Syracuse, Matthew (my Senior in HS) already put in for the night off of work so all is set! 

 Did I mention he's also a great artist?  He makes clip art and loves to doodle when he can.  
Here's a sampling of his two styles:

But honestly, what I admire John the most for is his KINDNESS.  I don't think I've ever met such a kind kids agree.  We are blessed!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's as simple as "Be Kind."

This little guy, Prince George...

is officially enrolled in a school where the first rule is:  Be kind. LOVE IT!  So simple. I'm a sucker for school mottos and love when they are reduced to just a few words that even the youngest child can understand.  My district motto/slogan/theme this year is : Attitude Determines Altitude -Fly High! What's yours?  I'd love to hear it!

Have you read this awesome book about paying it forward?

And I'm sure you've seen this video a dozen times but I still get inspired to pay it forward each time I see it!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Random Stuff! Freebies! 50% off!

Hope you are staying warm and dry on this snowy, sleety day.  We were supposed to get 18-24 inches.  Instead, we have about 6 inches of snow and a lot of ice. Too much ice!'s much easier to handle when you know that spring is truly just a few days away!

I was surprised to see our Shamrock Freebie in the newsletter since we didn't submit it.  I did last year but never even thought about it this year.   John is the artist but I did these simple ones.  Hopefully, you can use/grab them!  Enjoy!!  SIDE NOTE:  We just purchased ILLUSTRATOR and are hoping to create clip art on it soon.  Output should be much greater...I think!  John draws everything by hand and it takes forever.  Would be nice to even just COLOR on the computer since that would save oodles of time alone.  Crossing fingers we can learn it!!

My kids' drawings make me SO HAPPY! It was a directed draw and I love the way each one turned out.  Thinking of using watercolors next year.  My Principal and Assistant Principal are pictured with The Cat in the Hat.  I love the simple paper hats that made for their hair and MUST remember to do it next year.  Although, I did see some kids wearing cute blue tutus upside down on their heads, too.

Random, I know...but this year, we eat snack at 9am.  I am shocked to see all of the junk food: cake slices, cookies, chips, etc.  I've written general notes to encourage healthier choices.  No luck.  It wasn't until I started posting pics of kids making healthy choices on my class Twitter page that I started to see fresh fruits, nuts, and veggies.  Of course I don't pic poor snack choices!  Just the healthy ones from time to time.  Glad I thought of it! 

These make me happy, too!  NAMEBOWS! I've seen this on Pinterest and honestly don't know who to credit.  Kids use adjectives to describe themselves.  I usually have a few more rays but reducing to only 5 this year made the whole project so much easier.  Grab the small sign below if you need it.

Sharpening pencils is a PAIN IN THE NECK, isn't it??  But I smile when I do it...just means my kids are writing up a storm!  I don't think I ever had to sharpen so many pencils each day!  Honest!

Last up:  I used this day to finish my latest product: Contraction posters and games.  March is the month I start to really focus on reading/understanding contractions.  Even my lowest readers are encountering them in their daily reading.  Check out the packet if interested.  Offering for 50% off for next two days.  I use them for Do-Nows, Fast Finishers, Summer Send Home, Reading Workshop, Free Choice, etc.  


Monday, February 27, 2017

March Madness, Monsters and Jury Duty!

I love March Madness and in the world of college basketball, the march to the madness is is full swing! As a huge Syracuse Basketball fan, I just discovered the Twitter Account Titanic Hoops which cracks me up...everything is better with a little Titanic Music, isn't it? CLICK ON PIC to see what I mean! (Couldn't embed)

Had jury duty today but just sat there...not one of us was called.  I'd rather be in school BUT I did get my new math games posted!  I'm excited to use one of the games to practice Balanced Equations tomorrow! 

I'm offering for 50% off for he first 48 hours! 21 games in color and BW aimed at First Graders. A good deal!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

QR Code for Valentine's Day Freebie!

Just made it!  Hope you can use it and the generic recording sheet I created for QR Codes...just to hold kids accountable!  Enjoy!

If looking to support this book a little more with a few activities, check out THIS POST.  Have a super day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Freebie Pick-a-Prompts

My colleagues and I love using these...a nice break from our Calkins' Units.  (Which we also love!)  Hope your kids like like these as much as ours! Three prompts included perfect for Read Across America in just a few short weeks!  Enjoy!

Pick-a-Prompt (Freebie Writing Prompts)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tek The Modern Cave Boy

Image result for tek the modern cave boy

What an adorable book designed to look like an iPad! Tek is a cave boy who can't seem to unplug from his Game Box, TV, phone, and tablet.  It's tech all day and all night.  So engrossed in technology, he never ventures outside to see what the world has to offer!  Ice Age?  He missed it!  

Your kids will gasp when you read: "He never even learned his dinosaur names, identifying them as a Whatchacallitasaurus, a Hoozdatasaurus, or a Flying Idontgiveadactyl."  Mine sure did!  

Eagle eyes will surely notice the iPad battery getting lower and lower...

What a FUN book!  My husband (a media specialist) lent it to my class and it lived up to his hype.  Can't get the book?  No problem!  

READ ALOUD: Tek The Modern Cave Boy

I loved it so much, I want to share this FREEBIE Book It with you!  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Favorite Valentine's Day Book

Have you read this lovely book by Eileen Spinelli and Paul Yalowitz?  What a gem!

Image result for somebody loves you mr hatch

Honestly, it's one of my favorite all-time books.  The words and illustrations are so intertwined and seamless.  It's a wonderful book to show just how a small, kind, gesture, can really impact a person's life.

Mr. Hatch is shown as an ordinary man going about his lonely, mundane life.  Very little interaction and devoid of happiness.  But once he receives a box of chocolates in the mail from a Secret Admirer, his life suddenly has meaning.  SOMEONE thought of HIM?  He now has an extra pep in his step and all the neighbors notice.  Sadly, his happiness is short lived.  I don't want to give the rest away... find out for yourself!  You won't regret it but you will most likely shed a tear! Or two.  Or buckets full.

You can watch it here if you can't get the book.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch Video 11.5 Minutes

Honestly, the book generates thought-provoking discussions and that's all you need.  But if you're wanting a tiny bit more, you could check out this product that supports it.  But to be honest, the BEST way to support this book?  Share it with your class and then reread it again and again!  :)

Book It: Retell It, Write It, Make It! (Somebody Loves You

And for those of you who like my Pick-A-Prompts, I just finished February!
Only March needed to complete the Bundle!  Whew!

Pick-a-Prompt (February Writing Prompts)
Kids highlight or cross out the prompt they would like to complete.

Happy Reading!