My Class Needs...a Learning Carpet! An online project

My students are hands-on thinkers, creators and learners.
They love using manipulatives and materials around the classroom to explore and solve problems.
When I first saw The Learning Carpet being used last fall in a kindergarten classroom, I knew this would be a perfect learning tool in my classroom too!
There are so many uses for this carpet!  I can't wait to explore with the children all that we can do with our manipulatives!
I love how the students in this class are using The Learning Carpet as a sorting and graphing tool.
(Photo from
I started an online fundraising project through My Class Needs, a website where Canadian teachers are able to ask for donations in order to purchase the materials needed for their class.
In return, donors receive a tax receipt (and a huge thank you from me!).
My project has been active for several weeks and will come to an end in just over 2 weeks.
I am very grateful to the Copernicus Eco Fund for donating half of the carpet!
We are almost there! 
I would really like to see it complete, and my students to receive their new Learning Carpet before the Christmas Break.
I would greatly appreciate any and all help!
If you are able to make a donation, please click the picture above.
Remember - you are helping students learn and will receive a tax receipt in return.
You can e-mail me at and let me know which product you would like from my TpT store in return for your generous donation.
Thank you so much for inspiring learning in our class!

Trick AND Treat...a Halloween surprise!

Fall is upon us and that means it's time for some Teaching Trick & Treating!

That's right - I have teamed up with my Freebielicious friends again to share some 
teaching tricks and special free treats for you!

I have been focusing on making my math area much more inviting and fun!
I try to offer a variety of manipulatives for the students to use.
(Sorry - in this picture it looks a little messy!  The children enjoy using everything here!)
This year I have decided that some of the best manipulatives you can have are very VERY inexpensive...from the Dollar Store or, best of all, free!
See the adorable Jack-o-Lanterns?
Dollar Store.
And these beautiful glass beads?
Yup, Dollar Store.
You can do so much using them!
The students used the glass beads to count out and practice identifying ways to make a number on this hundreds grid.
I love using these small tiles (FREE - just head on into your neighbourhood tile store and ask for discontinued tiles).
Students can create patterns, place them into the ice cube tray for 1:1 correspondence, graph how many of a specific colour there are...the possibilities are endless.

This week I plan on reviewing some number sense concepts with the students, one in particular being subitizing.
Subitizing is simply when you are able to instantaneously recognize a number without counting it (on a dot die, for instance, or on a ten-frame).

Do you have lots and lots of paper plates like I do?
Don't know what to do with them?
Well, make Dot Plates!

I love playing the Dot Plates game with the and easy to make too!
Using a bingo dabber, dot your paper plates the same configuration as the numbers on a die or a ten-frame.
Quickly flash them to the students and see if they can identify the number you held up.

I created this ready-to-print game focusing on subitizing.  All you need to do is add some dice!
You will see how quickly your students can identify numbers!
Click on the picture above to get your FREE download!

Best part is, you can double up dot die numbers and see if they can still identify it!

Hop along to the next Freebielicious friend to see what their Trick & Treat is!
Happy {early} Halloween!  Enjoy all the goodies!

Dramatic Centre Fun and FREEBIE!

I've had some e-mails over the past month in regards to how our Dramatic Centre works.
When designing the space for the Dramatic Centre this year, I kept in mind that last school year it was one of the most popular areas to play in so I wanted to make the space large enough to reflect all the learning taking place here.
Our Dramatic Centre is in the middle of our classroom.  I used the kitchen furniture, along with the backside of the blocks shelf and a puppet theatre, to frame the area off.
My DECE and I listen to the conversations from the students to get ideas as to what this area can turn in to.
A few weeks back, some students were eating snack at the Snack Table and they realized that they both had muffins.  They told me that they had made the muffins with their families on the weekend.  So I suggested that they could turn the Dramatic Centre into a bakery and show the other students in our class how to make muffins and other baked goods.
The children were very excited to make a sign for their new area and got to work on it right away.
Other children who wanted to help decided to make some baked goods using materials found around the classroom.
The above picture is of a "pie".
We discussed the many different types of things a bakery would sell, including the various baked goods (bread, cookies, etc.) to different types of drinks (coffee, tea, etc.).
I had one student interested in writing down these ideas in the form of a list.
The next day I brought in a plastic cupcake toy.  The students enjoyed using it and decided that they wanted to take orders and deliver them.
After listening to the children, I asked if any of them wanted to create pretend baked goods such as those on their list.  They were excited to mix flour, water and salt to form a play dough that could be baked and used for their items at the bakery.

All of the students helped measure, pour and mix our dough.

We turned our dough into so many different baked goods!
I love how the students used scissors to add detail to their items.

Once everything had baked, we were ready to sort and label our goods, just like in a bakery.  The students decided to write labels for themselves.
I supported and extended their learning by creating these ordering forms which they loved!
Since it's still early in the school year, these order forms were perfect for both the readers and non-readers as they could easily look at the pictures.
You can find all of the above (and LOTS more!) in my Bakery Dramatic Play Center.
Last week, we were noticing that the students were talking more and more about Halloween.
I saw a creative idea from Ms. M, a colleague from another school, and decided to modify it for my classroom.  When I was at the Dollar Store last weekend (I am there so often I think they know me by now!), I found small plastic Halloween pieces that I thought the students would like.

 I put them out and found that the students organized and labelled them all in containers.
We noticed that the students were really interested in mixing the ingredients in a pot and pretending to make spells and magic.
This is what our Dramatic Play Centre looked like last week.
So today we put out a "Book of Spells" along with writing paper encouraging the students to write down ingredients and directions on how to make their spell.
The students enjoyed writing their spells and placing them in the binder.
We added a few "magic words" that they might use for their spells.
We posted some Halloween words to encourage writing as well and, of course, a "Beware of Witches" sign!
Some students wanted to add more 'scary' things to our Halloween Dramatic Play area so we cut up some large black garbage bags and hung them from the ceiling.
Another great idea from Ms. M ... mix up some real "potion" (using vinegar and baking soda)... I think the students will love this experiment at the end of the week!
You can download your Witches' Brew Dramatic Play Centre for FREE by clicking the picture below.
I hope your students will enjoy playing at your Dramatic Centre as much as mine are!

Classroom Faces T-shirt GIVEAWAY from Freebielicious!

Every once in a while,  the girls at Freebielicious discover a really awesome product for classroom teachers that is so amazing, we just have to share it with you! Today is one of those days! Get ready because we are hosting a super cute giveaway for custom classroom t-shirts from We will be giving away a class set* of custom t-shirts to THREE lucky Freebielicious fans! Isn't that amazing? 
These are NOT your average t-shirt designs. The people at ClassroomFaces are so creative, they found a way to print a collection of drawings from every child in the class on the set of t-shirts, to create a truly custom design! Nobody else in the world will ever have a t-shirt exactly like the one your class designs. The website may be called "Classroom Faces" but there are SO many more options for children to draw than just their face. Sample designs on the website show creative ideas using student handprints or drawings of the school mascot.

Since the Freebielicious girls are such good friends, we designed our very own set of Classroom Faces t-shirts. We enlisted the help of our talented friend (and fellow Freebie gal) Nikki from Melonheadz to create custom drawings of each of our faces. The finished t-shirts were absolutely ADORABLE! I absolutely love my new custom Freebielicious t-shirt from Classroom

About Classroom Faces

Creating a class set of t-shirts featuring your students drawings is easy. Each child just needs to create a simple drawing. To create t-shirts with one-color ink on a solid colored t-shirt (like ours) each child needs to draw their picture using a fine point black marker. The ClassroomFaces website has downloadable templates that you can use to guide your students. Full-color illustrations on a plain white t-shirt are also possible. Look how cute these t-shirts are! 

Extra Savings for Freebielicious Fans

Freebielicious fans that order a class set of tshirts can save $1 on each tshirt and receive 1 free teacher tshirt with their order using promo code FREEBIE14. Orders must include 15 or more paid shirts to qualify and must be postmarked by December 31, 2014

Enter to WIN a Class Set of Custom Classroom Faces T-Shirts

Now that you have seen how ADORABLE these t-shirts are, it's your chance to try and win a set for your classroom. The wonderful people at ClassroomFaces are graciously giving away a class set* of custom t-shirts to 3 lucky Freebielicious fans! Each set is valued at over $250. Stop by the Freebielicious blog for your chance to WIN!
*Up to 24 tshirts will be included in each prize pack. Winner can choose to order a class set of traditional single-color tshirts or tshirts will full-color illustrations. Additional t-shirts can be purchased for $11 or $13 (depending on t-shirt size and style). Shipping is free for winners that live in the US. If a winner requires shipping outside of the US, the winner is responsible for shipping costs.
(Shipping to Canada costs between $5-$20 depending on weight and location). 


Happy Thanksgiving...saying thanks with a SALE!

This weekend we are celebrating Thanksgiving here in Canada.
Yah!  I love long weekends!
And I love giving thanks....for so many things in my life!
To celebrate with all of my online teacher friends, I've teamed up with some of favourite Canadian teachers to throw a sale in our TpT stores.
This Sunday, October 12 my entire TpT store will be 20% off!

All of the fabulous sellers below are participating in the sale.  Click on any of the buttons to check out their stores.

Happy Thanksgiving!