Hands on Math

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hey Y'all!

Counting to 100 by ones is probably the standard that makes me the MOST crazy!! Listening to children count to 100 is worse than watching paint dry, or having bamboo shoots shoved under your finger nails. Ok maybe not that bad but close, ok? So I've been trying to come up with ways to practice without having to count count.

This is one of the actives we do. I hand each little 5-6 cards. Then we build a numbers chart. I could really tell the children who understand numbers and the patterns that numbers make compared to those who can just rote count and hold no understanding.

Another activity that we do is called count around the circle. I choose a range of numbers (1-10, 1-20,  20-30, etc) and tell the students the starting and ending numbers. Then each child says one number.  When I teach this I always start and I prompt students if needed. I start the first week of school, and it's only counting 1-5. The student who has the end number of the set sits down after they say there number. I LOVE this activity because my squirmy worms can wiggle without bothering others... and I can tell in a heartbeat who knows the number set we are practicing. ;)

Hope this gets you excited and you can use these two ideas in your classroom!


Walk for the Waiting...

Monday, April 11, 2016
Hey Y'all!
It is a BEAUTIFUL sunny Sunday afternoon and I am chilling on the deck. But something is weighing on my heart. Children who do not have a forever home. I was adopted at birth and have never known a foster family or been part of the foster system, but just knowing that children are out there without the support of parents who love them unconditionally breaks my heart.

So here I am, on a beautiful day asking for money... I am asking that you would sponsor me as I complete the Walk for the Waiting Walk.  More information and the ability to donate can be found here:


Help organizations like Project Zero help children in our foster system!


Ladies Alive... thoughts and more

Sunday, April 10, 2016
Hey Y'all!
Wow!!! Oh wow! Today was AdvoCare's Ladies Alive event. It was amazing... empowering... life changing. For most of my life I've been over weight, and honestly I ignored it but not living. I can think of more events that I did not attend because I didn't want to admit that my weight was an issue. Events that I didn't attend for fear that I might have to walk any kind of distance and heaven help us talk while I walked. I hid. And then I was embarrassed that I hid, so I hid some more. Great cycle to fall into!!! 

Then AdvoCare found me. First I watched my friend who struggled to have a child, get healthy, loose weight, and be blessed with a baby! I watched as she lost the baby weight. Then I decided I was done watching. My turn!!! 

Fo' real. I hit a point where holding on to the embarrassment and weight was too much. Learning to talk about me and where I was emotionally was not easy. Oh batman is it hard! Even as I'm sharing this I keep thinking that I don't want to share. One of the nuggets I walked away with today is not to let fear stop you. Turn your fear into fight. 

Y'all! I am full of fear. Full of it. It's scary to share my heart. I don't want to be hurt. I don't want to be rejected. But this is too important. I'm too important. And so are you!!

My biggest hope is that I can impact the lives of others but I can't do that if I am scared all the time. I am the reason that I have not been successful and I plan to change that. I hope that my kinder teachers and other teachers who read my blog understand why I am adding my AdvoCare coaching to the posts here. Being a healthy teacher means SO much. It means having so much more to give to our students and then having enough so that our personal family isn't getting the left overs. I don't want my children to get my emotional left overs! I want them to be just as front and center as my classroom children. I want my husband to get as much love as anyone else in my life. And sadly, he is the last on the list. And my children aren't far above him.

I didn't have enough to give. I was empty and pulling out emotional left overs for my family. And then the gift of AdvoCare found me! I have so much more now. I have more energy and my emotional bank doesn't get to empty as quickly. During this weekend, I learned that I am not alone in this. I am not the only one out there handing out left overs. And I bring this here because I don't want you to be left with nothing to give.

I also don't want to be all used car salesman either, but I need to say this..... if you have never tried a SPARK I need to get one into your hands. I need to give you this gift of not running on left overs. But to tell you that it is here makes me sound less like a teacher friend and more like slick Joe from over at It Can Be Yours Used Cars. So if you would indulge me... if you have never had a SPARK and would like to try one. I would like to put one in your hand.  Click the link in the picture and fill out the form and a spark will be on it's way to you!


20 pounds! a journey beginning....

Monday, April 4, 2016
Hey Y'all!

I hope that you are making your day AWESOME! I wanted to share a little bit about my weight loss journey. I've always been chunky. From rolley chunky monkey baby, to round teen, to even rounder adult. I renamed it to "fluffy" because one of my students said that hugging me was like hugging a HUGE fluffy teddy bear. Fluffy goes down easier than fat. And it's not like I've just sat by and did nothing... I've been a member of weight watchers, gotten "meals in the mail", limited myself to the "pink drink", done low carb, did Adkins, gone to the gym and killed myself. You would think that fluffy wouldn't be in my vocabulary, and defiantly not my body shape.

I learned something recently, it's not just eat right and exercise. There are pieces that our bodies need... amino acids, omega 3 oils, etc.. that I NEVER added to my life. Heck most of my life I didn't even take a multi vitamin. When we "out grew" Flinstone's I was done with daily vitamins. When I was preggo it was a nightmare to remember to take those horse pills!

So how is it that I have come to writing this post? It sure wasn't to share my faults. About a year ago my friend April did this thing called a 24 day challenge. I remember being excited for her, and maybe if I'm really honest a little jealous. I was so happy for her but at the same time I wished it for me. That year she got pregnant, after years and years of trying. I truly think that the changes she made during that 24 day challenge had a lot to do with the sweet baby boy she now has.

Then this January she mentioned that she was going to do the 24 day challenge again, and she asked if I wanted to. I said no, but something in my kept thinking about that challenge. I kept wondering why she would go back to it. What made it different? So I asked. After many conversations, I decided that I would do the February 15 challenge. I will never for get the day that my AdvoCare box arrived. I studied the booklet, took TONS of notes from conversations with April (who was my coach). I thought I was ready for this challenge, and then prep day hit.

February 14 should be a day full of love, instead I spent most of it on the kitchen floor crying. I hate to cook, and I thought the mister was going to be more supportive than he was that day. Overwhelmed and ready to quit before I even got started, I laid on my kitchen floor and cried. I was so frustrated. I still tear up thinking about it. My expectations were slammed against reality and it was not pretty! I never felt as low as I did that afternoon. But something changed laying there on the floor. I got mad. I mean kick the wall kind of mad! I was mad at the mister, I was mad at me, I was mad that this was SO difficult! And I got up. With tears running down my face, I prepped meals for the week. I prepped snacks for the week. And I got my self ready to walk this journey.

So 21 days in to the 24 days I had lost 11 pounds. The now picture was taken that day. I was shocked to see the pictures side by side. Look closely at the face. I really think that all 11 pounds came from my face and neck! The me in the now picture was full of energy. The before me would get tired in the afternoon, would run out of steam, and "veg" after work rather than being productive. But that has all changed!

If you've gotten this far, first thank you- spilling all your heart has isn't easy. Today I have lost 20 total pounds. I didn't measure this morning. Honestly it didn't cross my mind until now. But since Feb 15 I have lost 17 pounds, that includes a week on a cruise ship with an all you can eat buffet of food 24/7. So much has changed. I have so much more energy, and not the inflated kind you get from energy drinks. I am able to make good choices about food. I've not had a Dr Pepper since the beginning of February. Stop and take that in for a minute.... no Dr Pepper. None. Not one drop! That alone is huge! I am learning to like going to the gym, I loved riding the bike on the cruise ship. I would have to come home with a bladder infection and have to "rest" for a week. I am also learning about cooking. I don't love it. But I can cook and I'm getting to where it isn't a chore. Of course the mister loves to cook, so he is SUPER protective of his kitchen.

In the coming days, I will share about AdvoCare. I have decided to be a wellness coach for AdvoCare. I can't wait to help others be like me!! I have a whole buch of posts planned about the different things that I use each day. I know that AdvoCare has a product for everyone: weight loss, energy, performance, and wellness!

If you have been thinking about using AdvoCare but didn't know where to get it, here is my link (and you get me as a coach- bonus!) bit.ly/karenslink Or you can email me and I'll get back to you. I am so excited to be able to share the new me with everyone out there!


Foodie Friday....

Sunday, April 3, 2016
Hey Y'all!
I was looking for a way to reenergize myself and my kids when I remembered how much fun it was to teach K when we were not so academically driven. Back in the time of dress up and dramatic play also lived a little thing called cooking. We cooked weekly and the kids tried all kinds of new foods. But like house keeping, cooking also went away.

I decided to bring it back and man oh man was it a hit!! There are some rules to be part of foodie Friday. You can not have your card on yellow or red that day. Yep, you can sit and watch. This is meant to help with behavior and I promise you that kids do not want to miss out!

So this week was our first week and we made dirt and worms. Here is how we did it.

1. dump your pudding cup into a small bowl (I have the children's dishes from IKEA- no excess waist and I can pop all of it in the dishwasher on Friday afternoon!)
2. add 1 scoop of "dirt" to the top. (crushed up oreos- I did this at home)
3. Add 2 sour gummy worms.
4. enjoy!

The shopping list for this one was SUPER easy. I got everything at Walmart. Here is what you need

* pudding cups (1 for each little in your room. I got the kind that were 4 for a $1).
*1 package "generic" brand oreos
* sour gummy worms.

Yep that was all it took. The kids had the BEST time making it but a better time eating! They are already guessing what we will make next.

Here are a few pictures of us eating our creations.

Can't wait for next week!!!


One word... do you have one?

Until this year my one word was SO easy to come up with. It would hit me as I reflected on my life, the closing of one year and the opening of another. Last year my word was transparent. I feel that I needed to be more open. I tend to be very private in person. Not normally the one you see hanging out with large groups of people, although I have a HUGE personality.

This year the word did come as easily. As a matter of fact, I'm still not sure that the word I think is what I'm being lead to is really my word.

My word is fearless. I'm still wrestling with this word. It has so many meanings. There are SO many parts of my life that "fearless" is a 4 letter word in. As much as I love writing and telling my story, I am also very private with a small close circle of friends. So the idea of living this year "fearless" is well wild!

I'm still trying to figure out this word and how it is my guiding life this year. I do know that it is pushing me in ways I didn't know possible. I am so excited about this year and wanted to share about my one word (a little late... :) )


Helloooooo.... is anyone out there?

Saturday, April 2, 2016
I know that I have to win the prize as world most inconsistent blogger. Honestly, I got caught in a trap of comparing myself with others... other blogs, other TPT sellers, others in general and kind of hit a place where blogging wasn't fun. I want all that I do to be fun. So I'm taking back my blog... lol. I pledge to have fun in all I do... and guess what? I've had A LOT of fun recently.

First of all this is the time in K where things are clicking, normally (we will get to that later). And we just had spring break (hello Caribbean! I already miss Jamaica and Grand Cayman and Cozumel!)  OMG! Did I have a great vacation. And I was so proud of myself on that cruise... more on that later.

The only downer is that I came home with a bladder infection. YUCK! I can't begin to tell you how much that took it out of me. UGH! But with the help of the Med Express doctors I am feeling human again!

So I got caught up in that whole everyone out there is way better or can get ideas out there better spiral. I love reading blogs, but I'm starting to feel like teacher blogging has become a "business" and I'm not sure I like that. I kind of miss the unpolished -ness of the blogs I fell in love with. I think that is part of what turned me off to blogging. I loved the stories and the feeling that I was part of a community of teachers struggling together. You know that it's 4pm and your makeup is half gone from a full day of being with kinder kids and you don't mind that you are unpolished because you are "keeping" it real.

I'm going back to that. It's just me. Lack of polish and all. But I'm getting ok with that in lots of areas of my life. I just wanted to see if anyone was still out there reading this. I hope that you are. I miss you all!

Just so you know I can be followed at blog lovin' by clicking the icon on the right. My instagram is also a little kinder and I have a Facebook group page as well. I hope that you are still following me and check out those other ways to see me.... honestly instagram is where I spend the most time (i.e. post the most)

Make today awesome!

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