Character education…

Hi everyone!  Happy summer!  Do you teach the six pillars of character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship) in your classrooms?  It is a big part of our social studies curriculum on my campus, in fact we have a pillar to focus upon monthly.  Finding materials for each pillar can be a difficult task, and it is especially difficult when you are trying to find resources for your even younger students.
Character Kids

Supplemental materials are a must for me!  I just finished updating my old character kids pack and added a ton of new materials!

I’ve added a full color emergent reader big book and student mini-books for each pillar.  This is a great addition to your classroom libraries!  I love when my kiddos are so excited that they can READ the text on their own!  I’ll admit too, that the full color big books are great examples for how students should color their pictures too!

I also added certificates for each pillar and brag tags!  An editable version of the certificates are also available in the pack.  This is a great way to reward your kiddos when you “catch” them being good!

The writing pages have also been updated as well as the posters.  I’ve designed the posters as a discussion piece for when you are introducing each pillar to your whole class.  The other updated posters are to add to a bulletin board.

Here is a freebie to add to your lesson plans, I created an editable template to keep track of what books you would like to read during your lessons.  Click on the picture below to be taken to my TpT store where you can download.

suggested CC books template cover


For more information check out my Character Kids pack in my TpT store here.

Thanks for checking out this post and I hope you have a great day!

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Hi everyone!  I’m so happy to say that I am on vacation the next couple of weeks with my family at the beach!  I am just loving our stay here along the Northern CA coast.  It’s so beautiful and COLD!  It is much nicer than the 100-degree plus weather in the central valley.  

Sooooo….enough of my rambling and on to this week’s freebie!

I think it’s because I’m on vacation, but I have cookies on the brain!  At the beginning of the year we complete a cookie week and I thought this would be a fun activity for my kiddos.  You simply cut out the cookie cards and laminate.  Students use clothespins to clip to the correct corresponding lower case letter.  A student recording sheet is also included.  

Click on the picture to below to download this activity from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  

Have a great weekend!  

July Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

June is over….and July is here!  This summer is flying by!  I see that stores are already preparing their back to school sections, but then again–craft stores are also starting to put our their Halloween and Christmas sections as well.  However, school is never to far from my thoughts!  I can’t wait to meet my new batch of kiddos in the fall!

I’m linking up with my blogging friends, Lisa from Pawsitively Teaching , Ashley from Just Reed, and Marissa at Inspired Owl’s Corner to share my top three Pinterest pins for the month of July.  Feel free to join in on the fun!

July Main Graphic

Here are some of my favorite teaching related pins for the month.


Do you do question of the day in your class?  I do this as an opening activity in my classroom.  I have students work with a partner and ask the question of the day.  Then as a class we graph our answers and write  a corresponding number sentence where we compare the numbers.  Later in the school year we work on creating tally marks for this activity.  I like this activity because it allows a daily opportunity for students to ask and answer questions in a complete sentence.    I love the idea of creating a designated question of the day area like the one above–such a time saver!


I have a ton of clothespins and popsicles sticks laying around my craft stash and my kiddos LOVE to build things!  This activity is absolutely perfect for them!  I also thought this would be the absolute perfect activity for my students at the beginning of the school year.  I love how students would be using their imaginations to build and they are developing their fine motor skills at the same time!


Another great idea for Popsicle sticks!  Have your kiddos explore and create shapes!  This is a perfect math station activity for my kiddos at the beginning of the school year!

July Main Graphic

Those are my top three pins for the month of July! I would love to see your pins as well!  Feel free to link up below:


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Freebie Friday…

Hellooooo everyone!  It has been a wonderful week for my family and I.  We spent most of the week at Disneyland (our family happy place).

I’m having a blast this summer so far and I’ll be honest with ya–its been really difficult to think about the beginning of the school year right now.  Don’t get me wrong–I’m super excited about meeting my new bunch of kiddos in the fall, but I’m loving all of my family time right now too.

This week’s freebie is a revised version of an oldie but goodie!  It’s my numbers 1-10 practice pages!

Each page has the opportunity for students to practice number formation, identification AND they are able to practice creating sets.  Oh I also forgot the number word is written on each page as well.

Just click the pictures to be taken to my TpT store to download your own copy.  If you love this free activity–I would appreciate it if you could leave feedback!  Thank you so much!

I hope all of you enjoy the weekend and soak up all the family time and relaxation you can get!

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Freebie Friday!  

Don’t ya just love FREE printables!  Every Friday this summer I will be posting a new free item that you can download to use in your classrooms.  I created this First Day feeling graph to use with my little kiddos last year.

First Day feelings  Collage


We read Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes and First Day Jitters.  Then I share how nervous and excited I was to meet all of them.  I used dots to create the graph simply because I teach TK and many of my students are learning to write their names.  If you have older students, you can simply have them write their names.


Click the picture below to be taken to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download your own free copy for yourself!

first day feelings square cover

I hope you all have a great day!

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The Value of TK

Something has been weighing on my teacher heart lately.  You may or may not be aware, but I teach a combination class for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students.  If you don’t know what Transitional Kindergarten is, it is a 2-year program designed for students who start public schooling at the age of four and will turn five during the fall.  Their birth dates must fall between September 2 and December  2.  Elizabeth from Kickin’ It In Kindergarten has a great blog post all about TK here.

the value of TK
A few weeks ago our school held their annual Kindergarten Orientation for incoming transitional kindergarten and kindergarten parents.  There were a handful of incoming transitional kindergarten parents (probably about five or so), that did not understand the need for their child to be in transitional kindergarten.  They expressed their concerns by stating that their child already knows many of the skills that would be taught during Transitional Kindergarten.  As a parent I could see being hesitant, this is your baby and I know you are worried about how they will adjust to being in school.  I understand, my own baby is going into TK in the fall.  However, let me assure you that the choice to enroll your child into a TK program is an excellent choice.  Let me tell you why.  Here are the five reasons why you should enroll your child into a transitional kindergarten class.

red #1Socialization.   I cannot stress the importance of this enough.  Your child will learn how to interact with their peers in a true classroom environment.  They will learn how to follow school and classroom rules, AND more importantly learn the structures and routines of a classroom.

red #2Your child will learn to read.  Over the course of the year we will learn the letters of the alphabet and their sounds, but we will also learn sight words and how to decode words.  I’m so proud to say that in the last couple of years the majority of my kiddos could read DRA level 2’s and higher fluently!  It is wonderful to see the joy on their little faces when they know that they are reading!  I can confidently say that because of TK, these students have a strong foundation as early readers going into kindergarten.

red #3Your child will learn to write.  Not only will your child learn how to form letters and numbers, but they will learn to write sentences!  Many of my TK students could independently write 1-3 simple sentences by the end of the year!  Many students were successful with our district opinion writing prompt at the end of the year as well.

red #4Your child will have a strong foundation in mathematics.  It is amazing to see the strong number sense foundation that my TK’s students exhibit.  They are truly grasping ten frames, tally marks, addition, subtraction with numbers 1-10.

red #5Your child’s fine motor skills will improve.  Students in my classroom have multiple opportunities to work with small manipulatives, blocks, and play dough to assist with strengthening their hand muscles.  They also have constant opportunities to use scissors and glue to create art projects.

If your child is lucky enough to qualify to attend a Transitional Kindergarten program–I don’t think that you will regret enrolling them!  I should also mention that all of my students are exposed to the common core kindergarten standards, but I do not expect mastery of these standards.  I for one am very excited to see the amazing academic potential of my former students, and as a parent of an incoming Transitional Kindergartner I want her to have a strong educational foundation for the future.  Wouldn’t you want this for your Transitional Kindergartner as well?

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Some shamrockin’ fun!

It’s March!  Hurray!!!!  One of my favorite holidays is just around the corner.  I thought I’d share some of the fun things we’ve done in the past to celebrate.

We always read Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato.  I always try to read out loud with my best Irish accent (which I’m sure is ridiculous…😂).  Last year my class made these adorable potato people.    My class also completed these leprechaun directed drawings from First Grade Blue Skies.  They turned out SO adorable!!!

 We also worked on writing questions.  First we brainstormed some question words whole class and made a poster.  Then during our stations we worked on writing down the questions to ask a leprechaun.  I had this large leprechaun cut-out that I purchased from Dollar Tree.  I taped it to the door and had students ask the leprechaun a question.  Oh my goodness–this was SUCH a cute activity and I absolutely loved the questions that my students wrote in their leprechaun letters.  ask a leprechaun photo

I uploaded this fun activity as a FREE item to my TpT store!  Just click here to download.

Dear Leprechaun sample

We also had a little visitor at our house!  My kiddos were SO EXCITED!!!  He left little green footprints and shamrocks everywhere!  Here is a photo:


The visiting leprechaun also left green milk in the fridge!  Ha!


I’m looking forward to this silly little leprechaun visiting again (and I’m looking forward to Shamrock Shakes)!  We also have a little tradition of making green dinner that night.  I usually just tint some pasta and alfredo sauce and serve with broccoli–yum!  What do you have planned for St. Patrick’s day?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!


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Star Wars Birthday!

My little guy recently turned 7, and let me tell ya–he is all about Star Wars these days.  I can’t say I blame him, because our whole family is strong with the Force.  HA!  It’s literally Star Wars everything around here.  His birthday party was so fun to plan!  Here are some of the photo highlights:

I had a pretty limited budget, so all of the party decorations were purchased at either Dollar Tree or Target.  I made the rebellion symbol out of form board from Dollar Tree.  I just cut out the symbol and then spray painted it to get the look that I wanted.

party decor

We kept the food pretty basic–Vader Veggies, Skywalker chips and Salsa and Padawan Popcorn–with treats of course!


The kids had an absolute blast with the games.  I made light sabers with duct tape, electrical tape and insulation tubes from the hardware store.  The kids played a game where they tried to see how long they could keep their balloons up with their light sabers.

balloon light saber game

We also played Pin the Light Saber to Darth Vader.  I found these giant sized coloring pages at Target that were perfect for this game.  I just glued the colored picture to some poster board I purchased from Dollar Tree then we wrote the kids names on colored labels–easy peasie!

pin the lightsaber

One of the party favors was a bubble wand that we turned into light sabers.  We just covered the handle with electrical tape and then tied thank you tags to the wands.  I’m telling ya–these wands were a hit!  My kids loved them!  And the best part is my son made the majority of them with minimal adult help.

bubble light saber wands

I found these fun character masks at Target and they were another hit with the kids.  So funny!

star wars masks

If you are interested the tags from the bubble wands are a free download from The Contemplative Creative.  The cupcake toppers were also a free download from Family Shopping Bag.

Check out my Star Wars birthday board on Pinterest if you would like to find more ideas:
Follow Barbara’s board Star Wars Bday on Pinterest.

May the Force be with you!

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Five for Friday!!!

So it’s been a LONG time since I linked up for this, but I’m so excited to share with you a little glimpse into my crazy life!  Ha!    This is what I’ve been up to this week!  


Ok here we go!  

 This past Christmas my hubby got me the best gift ever–a new camera!!!  I’ve been playing around with it a lot and I’m trying to learn how to use it 😜!  My girls played dress-up on Sunday and I was able to take some pictures of them! They certainly love to be girly princesses!  



 I raided the Target Bullseye playground!!! I’m seriously excited about some of the great finds I found and who doesn’t love to find treasures in the dollar bin right?    


So apparently everyone in Fresno could feel the aftershocks from the earthquake near Wasco this week–ummm…not me though.  This meme was too funny to not share.   


My kids had their annual Muffins with Mom at school Wednesday morning. So fun!  It was crazy town at the book fair, but my kiddos are so excited they got new books!    

The decor was too cute!  


I’ve been looking for some old pictures to share at my 20th high school reunion that’s coming up this fall (say what!  I’m not that old yet right!).  I came across this gem from back in the day & I feel that it’s especially fitting since this is the end of National FFA week.    

Have a great weekend everyone!

Pacific Coast Teacher Meet-up!

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Pacific Coast meet-up hosted by the amazing bloggers (AKA CA Fab Four) from Hooo-ray for TeachingVery Perry ClassroomTales of Teaching with Tech, and Teaching from Beyond the Desk.  I had an absolute blast!  Here are some of the photo highlights:

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We arrived!  My SIL Amy was my partner in crime for the event!

First stop–the steps of the Capital building where we all met.


We went on a scavenger hunt in Old Town Sacramento–so much fun!  Some other wonderful bloggers invited us to join in with their group!  I SO loved meeting everyone and making new friends!

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After the scavenger hunt we headed to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner.  Everything was so beautiful and I’m telling you guys–EVERY detail was thought of.  There were a TON of prizes to be given away and the Swag Bags were AMAZING!!!  This was just a few of the amazing sponsors.

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Kate at Sprout Classrooms made these beautiful sparkly wine glasses for everyone to take home!  So pretty!  And…I actually won stuff from the giveaways!

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These amazing bracelets are from Trashy Crafter and they are made from recycled books!  So cool!  My bracelet is from one of my all time favorite books Make Way for Ducklings!

IMG_1454 editedI also won these beautiful earrings from Nickel & Suede.  They are absolutely gorgeous and they are so light!  It doesn’t feel like you have anything on your ears at all.  If you have never heard of Nickel & Suede you need to check out their stuff–it is amazing and so reasonably priced!

Oh and the swag bag was all kind of amazing!  I actually think that it deserves an ENTIRE post on its own.  My kids have been eyeing everything for the last 24-hours, so I will try my best to keep them away and take some pics to show you all of the awesomeness that was inside.

In all seriousness though, the free  stuff and the giveaways were amazing, but my absolute favorite part was just meeting other people.  Everyone was so nice and positive, I’m telling you it was contagious!  I am truly honored to be a part of this amazing educational community.  Teachers are an amazing group of people–we are a rare breed of kind individuals who are willing to go above and beyond for others.  It was a wonderful experience to be a part of something that celebrated teachers–I literally can’t wait for another meet-up!

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