Jumping for Joy

My students were literally jumping for joy when they met Roy the Boy, my latest (and only human) puppet. Roy will officially join the Teacher’s Creatures family in 2014 at the Southern California Kindergarten Conference in Pasadena. Here’s a sneak peek…





Spaghetti and Meatballs

I got this great idea from the KFUNdamentals blog a while back: use spaghetti and meatballs to remind young writers about proper spacing in words and sentences. I just made this sign so my students would have a visual, and now I’m hungry! This is a JPEG, so you should be able to print it. Mangia!


If the image is not large enough, you can email me directly and I will reply with the image in full resolution.



Those Tricky Teens

The teens are infamous for confusing kids when they’re counting, identifying, or writing numbers… so I wrote a little rap to clear things up. You could read it like a poem if you want to, but I prefer to add a funky beat and make my students smile 🙂

“If it starts with one, it’s probably a teen.                                                                    Ten to twenty, in between.                                                                                       Eleven and twelve have left the scene,                                                                       But every other number is a teen!

The breakdown…

If it starts with one, it’s probably a teen: Besides 11 and 12, two-digit numbers that start with one (have a one in the tens place) are teens. That’s why we say “probably a teen”.

Ten to twenty, in between: We’re talking about the numbers between 10 and 20.

Eleven and twelve have left the scene: Because they are not teens.

But every other number is a teen!: The numbers between 10 and 20 (besides 11 and 12, which have left the scene) are all teens.



After twenty days of school, our number wall is looking snazzy! The numbers are color coded for identifying odd and even numbers, and counting by twos, fives, and tens. The penny sticker on the 1, the nickel sticker on the 5, and the dime sticker on the 10 remind us about coin values and how to count them. The number wall is one of my favorite tools!


Plus (+) and Minus (-)

Here’s a trick I’ve been using to help my students remember the difference between addition and subtraction. For addition: I make a plus symbol with my index fingers, hitting them together repeatedly and rapidly as I say, “Plus, plus, plus, plus, plus, more, more, more, more, more.” For subtraction: I sweep my index finger dramatically and firmly to the side as if I’m motioning for a dog to go away (and writing a minus sign in the air), and say, “Minus!” in a commanding voice (because minus is making something go away). And guess what… it’s working!