Thursday, October 1, 2015

1,000 Follower Celebration Giveaway

I am pleased to announce that I have shot past 1,000 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Yahoooooooooooo!!!  How exciting!  I started my journey back in January 2012 so it's been a long time coming, but I got there and I thank each and everyone of you faithful followers whether you've download one of my 50 + freebies or purchased something from me, you rock!

If you are a follower and have been following since the last weekend in September check your INBOX on TPT before Friday at 7pm as you get to select 1 of 4 paid products for FREE!

To continue my celebration, I am giving away a $10 Gift Certificate on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I wish I could afford more, but right now this is my full time job and I'm not making enough to pay the bills.  I hope the $10 Gift Certificate comes in handy for one lucky winner.  All you have to do is follow my store and enter on Rafflecopter.  The Giveaway will end on Monday, October 5th at midnight eastern.  Make sure you are using an e-mail address that you check or you may be a winner and never see the gift card.  There's also a little bit more time to enter to win a great Classroom Management book HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Master Classroom Management In Eight Weeks Book Review and Giveaway

I was asked by the publishing company, Compass Publishing to review a new classroom management book from Jerry Evanski called "Master Classroom Management In Eight Weeks".  I received a PDF of the book and they are going to give away a physical copy or a PDF to one lucky reader of my blog!  Only US residents can win the physical copy, but if you are international they are happy to send you a PDF of the book.  If you are not the winner you can click on the picture of the book or HERE to order it.  By ordering on this link you will get both the PDF and the physical copy of the book.  It is available on Amazon, but by ordering the physical copy you will not get a PDF of the book on there.  Read on for the review and how to win a copy!

This is an easy to read book that is broken down into 8 weeks with different topics.  The topics are: Getting Attention, Keeping Attention, Engaging Students, Teaching the Lesson, Getting Participation, Giving Directions, Communicating, and Transitioning.  All are critical parts for a smooth running classroom.  Jerry breaks each topic down into smaller topics and skills for each day of the week for each topic.  By following his guide and implementing each part a day at a time you will have mastered classroom management.

I love that he incorporates many of the things that I believe in such as movement, gestures, collaborative groups, partners, encouragement, praise, role playing, and music to name a few.

One strategy under review in week 4 (Friday) is called Ping-pong review.  You use 25 ping pong balls with a number from 1 to 25 on each ball.  Create a list of review topics, vocabulary words, etc. students are working on.  Put the balls on the floor and have your students pick a certain number of balls and then they review that numbered topic or vocabulary word with a partner!

That's just one example of many wonderful ideas in this book.

This giveaway starts at midnight and ends in 5 days.  I will check entries to be sure that you have done what you said you have done.  You will have 48 hours to answer your e-mail after I have drawn a winner or a new winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also follow Compass Publishing on Facebook

Stay tuned for another fun Giveaway as I now have over 1,000 followers on TPT!!! 

Thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back To School TPT Sale and More!

I can't believe it is already August.  Where has time gone? 

I am happy to announce that Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Back To School Sale August 3rd and 4th.  If you use code BTS15 at checkout you will save 28% off ALL my products including my bundles, which are already heavily discounted.  WOW!  I will also have my store on sale August 5th at 20% off in case you forget something you wanted!  Click the sale button to hop to my store and I hope you will shop with me!  I still don't have a teaching job and this is helping pay my bills so I appreciate each purchase more than you ever know!

I also thought I'd share a few of the new products I've put together this summer.  First up is my new Christian Sight Word Race Game, which includes all 220 Dolch Words plus 4 Christian themed words. Click any of the pictures to check it out!

Syllable Clip It Task Cards.  Click the picture to check it out.

Rhyming Clip It Task Cards - Click either picture to check it out.

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Back To School Kindergarten Fun!

Are you a Kindergarten teacher who is getting ready to head back to school?  Do you need some EASY centers that your students can do that won't take much explaining on how to do them?  If so check out some of my latest Kindergarten centers.

One other note before I show you my center creations be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers as I'm getting closer to 1,000 Followers.  There will be something special for followers after I hit that number!  My store is Pre-K through 6th grade. 

My Back To School August Kindergarten Centers contains 13 different centers, most are very low to no prep other than one die (dice) or a spinner.  Some of the skills including: rhyming, beginning sounds, sight words, counting to 5, counting to 10, identifying numbers to 5, identifying numbers to 10, 2D and 3D Shapes, etc.  Click the picture to check it out.

My very newest center is my Back To School 10 Frame Puzzles.  There are puzzles in both color and black and white for numbers 0 to 20! Click on the picture to check it out!

Here are my fun Beginning Sounds Popsicle Puzzles.

I also highly suggest playing this fun video from The Learning Station.  

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

20 Favorite Brain Break Songs

Brain Breaks are so important in the classroom!  Most adults don't like to sit for long periods of time so imagine how hard it is for children.  We need to get them up and moving as often as possible.  Playing music with movement is a perfect way to help children get their jiggles out and be focused to continue learning.

The Learning Station, Jack Hartmann, Songs, Music, Movement, Brain Break
  Here are 20 of my favorite Brain Break songs that children of all ages are sure to love.  I have even heard of high school teachers playing some of these songs.

1) Jamaican Dance
2) Move and Freeze
3) Happy Dance
4) Chili Chili
5) A Turkey Dance
6) Penguin Song
7) Tony Chestnut
8) Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
9)Baby Shark
10)From Your Seat
11)Boom Chicka Boom
12)Get Funky
13)Boogaloo Song
14)Go Bananas
15)Swimming Song
16)Ants In Your Pants
17)Here We Go - Directions Song
18)Count to 100 Workout
19)Move To The Alphabet
20)Dancing 2's

What are some of your favorite brain break songs?  Share in the comments as I love finding new songs to share with children.

Thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

No Clip Chart? Why Not?

When I first started teaching back in 2003 (Kindergarten) I used a color system as the majority of primary teachers do.  I used that system for 2 1/2 years and realized it just isn't the best system.  Children crying when they move their clip, parents not understanding the colors and getting children in trouble for warnings, taking too much time filling out calendars during the last half an hour instead of teaching children, children winding up at the bottom by 9 or 10am with no way to move down further, etc. I knew I needed to change things up.  I did eventually try it again in 2013-2014 school year since I took children from other teachers after the start of the year to help with class size.  I figured the children were used to it and so I should make the transition easier.  I eventually got rid of it that year as it just didn't work and took too much of my time. 

So you ask what do I do?  For many years I used banks for positive reinforcement.  Children got coins and went shopping in the store.  This taught children how to count and give back change.  I did NOT fine them for breaking rules.  The only time they lost money and it was all of it was if they opened up their bank prior to store day.  That was a very rare occurrence. 

1-2-3 Magic Classroom Managment

I love 1-2-3 Magic!  Very simply you count down the child when he or she is breaking a rule.  That's 1.  That's 2 (if he or she continues breaking that rule).  That's 3!  When it gets to 3 it is straight to time out they go.  No waiting until recess.  It's immediate.  No notifying parents unless it became excessive and I needed parent help.  They don't need to know each time a child goes to timeout.  When they do know every time it's you're picking on my child.  Check out 1-2-3 Magic by clicking on the book.

Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids

Then I started reading and learning about another system that I truly love called Whole Brain Teaching.  This system has many components.  I love using Class/Yes to get children's attention and calling out a rule number if a child is breaking that rule.  The children immediately say that rule and do that gesture that goes with the rule.  I also still use 1-2-3 Magic when the child just won't stop.

Whole Brain Teaching 122 Amazing Games

Whole Brain Teaching has also come up with a new book that you can check out by clicking on the picture that has 122 different academic and classroom management games!  What child doesn't like games?  I have yet to read this book, but look forward to doing so soon as I have seen how much games engage children.

This post contained affiliate links.

What classroom management plan do you use?  Why do you like or don't like the clip chart? 

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!
Keep on smiling!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Throw Out The Worksheets and Engage Students!

That's right, throw out those worksheets and engage your students as the end of the year comes to a close.  I am seeing all kinds of quotes being passed around on social media that make me quite sad that talk about recycling worksheets.

I get and understand that you are very busy with all of the end of the year requirements, but I don't believe in giving busy work.  It IS busy work if you give children worksheets (includes homework) and you never look at it and just toss it.  Yes, I have given worksheets and most of homework is worksheets, but ALL of them are checked and returned to students or put in a portfolio.  Busy work is NOT okay, NEVER!

So what can you do if you don't have the time to check and hand back worksheets?  At this time of the year most skills have been taught so let your students play learning games.  There are many learning games out there that require NO prep other than a dice or spinner.  I have created No Prep Board Games for all of Fry's sight words 1 to 400!  Each 100 word set includes 4 different board games with words and 2 blank games that can be used with any set of cards even math!

What do you do to avoid giving busy work during this time of year or any time of the year?

Thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!  Keep on smiling!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Learn about the Body with Science Games for Kids

Catherine Ross is back to guest blog for me today with another blog post on making learning fun!

Learn about the Body with Science Games for Kids
The human body is an incredible thing, and to this day scientists do not fully understand the minute details of its functioning. You know what they say about the brain – if it was simple enough to be fully understood, we wouldn’t be able to! Children who encounter the human body’s incredibly complex systems in their textbooks may understandably feel overwhelmed by it all. You can help your kids develop a healthy appreciation and fascination for the human body and its functioning by letting them play cool science games for kids - whether online or offline.

Here are a few great science games that teach kids of various ages about the human body and its care.
Science Games for Young Kids
Disney Doc McStuffins  - Doc McStuffins is a toy doctor with her own TV show. Kids bring their toys to her when they fall sick, and she uses various doctor tools to arrive at a diagnosis. Then she treats them and sometimes gives advice on how to stay healthy. Whether or not your child watches the show, the game is great fun for kids. Players assist the doctor in her work, learning the names and uses of the different tools. They also learn how to stay healthy and play various mini-games with the doctor’s assistants. This science game can be played at no cost online.
Science Games for Older Kids
Re-Mission 2 – In this fun science game, kids learn about cancer and how the body’s defense mechanisms and the various treatments work against the growth of cancerous cells. The names and functions of the weapons and the enemies in the game are such that the player understands how the various medications work in real life. The six mini games are incredibly fun for everyone, and especially beneficial for cancer patients, helping them understand what is going on inside their bodies and motivating them to stick with their treatment. The game is free to play online.
Solve the Outbreak – What happens when a new illness suddenly strikes the population, and a large number of people start falling prey to it? The epidemiologists swing into action, trying to find out how the disease began, how to treat it and how to keep it from spreading further. In this cool science game, players get to take on the role of an epidemiologist, earning points and getting promotions based on how well each outbreak was handled. The game was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and helps educate the public about how they deal with the diseases affecting the nation. The game is available as a free app for the iPad.
BioDigital Human – BioDigital Human provides an incredible way to explore human anatomy in 3D. With stunning, life-like visuals and a set of controls that allow users to add or remove organs and body systems and turn the models any which way, this website is considered a wonderful learning tool for aspiring doctors! While not actually a science game, this website is so much fun to explore that it barely makes a difference. The basic features on this website are free to use, while additional features and services are available for a fee.

Author Bio:
Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at

How do you make learning about the body fun for your students?  
Thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

I personally appreciate each and everyone of you teacher out there.  Thank you for all you do for the children.  Having taught 9 years myself I know what all goes into teaching.  It sure isn't a 40 hour job.  It's far more than that, but we do it because we love kids and want to make a difference in their lives.

With that said I am participating in TWO Teacher Appreciation events.  One is Teachers Pay Teachers.  Their sale is going on May 5th and 6th.  Everything is 20% off in my store and if you use code ThankYou at checkout you get another 10% off what is in your cart for a total savings of 28% off.  Great chance to stock up on some bundles!  Click the button below to check out what I have in my store for sale!  I'd appreciate it if you would follow me while you are there!  Nearly 1,000 followers!

The other event is Teacher's Notebook.  Their sale started on the 2nd of May and is going all the way through May 8th!  Using code Teachersrule at checkout you can save up to 55% in my store and other stores.  Click the button below to check out my store! I'd appreciate it if you'd follow me while you are there!

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!  Keep on smiling!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Daily Parent Communication

Many of us send home communication on a daily basis to parents on how their child behaves in school each day.  Some of us use planners that the school provides and others a calendar.  We mark it with a color or a happy, straight, or sad face and typically send home a note if the child had a bad day and/or call or e-mail home.

Graphic and Border from Ashley Hughes

I have had years where it was mandated to do this and other years where it was my choice.  Having done it both ways, it is my opinion that it works best without daily communication.  Why?

  • Parents don't need to know each time a child is in timeout and why.  It becomes a "you are picking on my child battle" with some parents.  I would rather notify parents after a child has had several tough days or done something sever that warrants a phone call.  Then they are more likely to help. 
  • It takes more time for the teacher to call, e-mail, or write a note about each child who has a difficult day.
  • Children are having to do something independent at the end of the school day so you have the time to mark the planners or calendars.  This takes away valuable instruction time.
  • It sends mixed signals home.  When I would mark a child had a yellow day, the parent would give the child a consequence at home.  Yellow for many of us simply means the child received a warning.  Last year, I had children who would cry when they were on yellow because they would get in trouble at home, even though, I made parents aware that yellow was only a warning.
  • Children tend to be much happier in school without a daily behavior report.
  • Many parents don't even look at the calendar or planner.
I would love to hear why you are for daily parent communication or why you are against it.  Leave a comment, which I will approve within 24 hours or hop on over to my Facebook page where we have many great discussions and I share ideas and free products on a daily basis.

Thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!  Keep on smiling!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teachers Are Heroes!

Teachers are heroes in my eyes and in many others.  We create all other occupations.  To celebrate, I am joining in on TPT's sale.  Using the code HEROES at checkout will save you 28% on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015.  Clicking on the banner, will take you to my store!

Check out some of my newest products by clicking on the pictures.
 Superhero Bump Addition and Subtraction uses cards and counters or cubes.

Also, new to my store is my Winter Primary Reading and Math Centers.  This is perfect for Kindergarten and 2nd grade and also for struggling 2nd graders as many of these skills are reviewed at the beginning of the year.  The centers include Addition to 5, 12, and 20, Subtraction to 5 and from 10, Decomposing Numbers, Counting Pennies and Nickels, Sight Words, CVC Words, and CVCe Words.  Many of these have already been tried out during tutoring and the children have been so engaged they are asking to play again and again!  2 freebies in the preview!!!

I have also bundled up my Fraction Task Cards.  This set includes Comparing Fractions with Like Denominators, Comparing Fractions with Unlike Denominators, Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators, Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators, Fraction Word Problems, and Multiplying Fractions.  You can also buy each set on their own.  You can get those for 28% off the bundle price by using HEROES!  Click the picture!

Thanks for being a hero!  Please know that your hard money is helping me make a living since I don't have a teaching job right now.  Once I get a job all my money I earn from my store goes right back into the classroom.

Thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!  Keep on smiling!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Brain Breaks Action Songs: Let's Move CD Review and Giveaway!

The Learning Station has a brand new CD out called "Brain Breaks Action Songs: Let's Move"!  Since I work for them, they let me review CD's and give one away to a lucky blog reader of mine!  They were so kind they even dedicated this CD to me and a few other huge fans.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now you have the chance to win this fun CD for your classroom or home!  Enter by doing as many things on the Rafflecopter form above that you would like to do.  Remember that sharing will give you 5 entries and you can share every 24 hours for more entries.  You will have to go back to Rafflecopter each 24 hours.  You will have 48 hours to claim your prize if you are the winner or a new winner will be chosen!   If you aren't the winner, you can purchase the CD by clicking on it below!

This CD has 16 highly engaging fun songs!  They work perfectly for brain breaks and indoor recess when the weather is too cold or rainy.  Research shows that children need brain breaks to be able to focus after long periods of sitting still.

The songs are:
1. Good Morning - a fun uptempo song with movements to start your class off each morning on a positive note.
 2. Iggle Wiggle - a fun energetic song with movements and it will have your students laughing.  This one will have your kids barking like a mutt, sing like Smurf, blow a kiss, etc.! haha  It is one of my favorites on the CD!
3. Chili Chili - This one is a fun song that has kids doing the ballet, belly dance, Irish jig, pogo, etc. It also has them touching the ground, turning around, etc.  This is great when they need to burn off a ton of energy!  Check out the video below.

4. I am the Music Man - is a fun repeat after me song that will have your students pretending to play musical instruments!
5. Penguin Song - There are currently two great videos for the penguin song and both the live version and the animated version have the fun movements.  Read about my post on this song and watch the videos by clicking HERE.
6. Monster Shuffle - This is a fun line dance song.  It is perfect for Halloween, but also great for just a brain break as many children love monsters! Check out this fun video by clicking HERE.
7. A Turkey Dance - This is a fun original dance that is my absolute favorite turkey song I have ever heard.  This is one of my very favorites on the CD.  Many teachers do turkey activities during Thanksgiving, but it's also perfect for an animal/bird unit.  Also, just for a fun brain break!  Check out the video below, which is the best YouTube turkey dance video that I have ever seen!

8. There was a Crocodile - This is a fun animal song with animal sounds.  This is perfect for any animal unit!  Your students will have a blast making these animal sounds!
9. Happy Dance - This is a fun dance that will no doubt have your students smiling and feeling happy!
10. Sparkle -  This is a slower paced original song that is about spreading kindness.  This is a perfect song for Valentine's Day or any time when teaching the character trait kindness.  There are also movements to go with this one!
11. Tarzan - This is an uptempo brain break!  Tarzan is another fun repeat after me song.  It will have students doing fun movements with Tarzan and Jane!
12. Brain Breaks Skip-a-Dee-Doo - This is a fun brain break song that will have your students following directions.
13. Princess Pat - is a slower paced song that is popular camp/scout song.  It is a fun repeat after me song.
14. Zum Gali Gali - is a Hebrew song about friendship with very catchy lyrics that will have your kids clapping along!  This is one of my favorites on the CD. 
15. Ride that Pony - a fun brain break song that is perfect for any cowboy/cowgirl theme.  This is sure to be popular for children who love horses!
16. Goodbye Song - This is a fun song about saying goodbye in silly ways such as see you soon raccoon, take care polar bear, be sweet parakeet, etc.  It is a repeat after me song that will have your students doing some fun movements as well.  Perfect song to end any day!

Now you have the chance to win this fun CD for your classroom or home!  Enter by doing as many things on the Rafflecopter form above that you would like to do.  Remember that sharing will give you 5 entries and you can share every 24 hours for more entries.  You will have to go back to Rafflecopter each 24 hours.  You will have 48 hours to claim your prize if you are the winner or a new winner will be chosen! 

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

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