The Easiest Ornament EVER (with free tags)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

With all the things going on this year, I wanted to find a precious, but very simple ornament to make with my students. This ribbon ornament hit the spot! No paint, glue, the need to share supplies, etc. To make them, I bought small clear plastic ornament balls, ribbon, holiday confetti, and pipe cleaners to attach the tags. The ornament balls are from The Dollar Tree (2 for a buck), the ribbon was from Walmart, and the snowflake confetti was from Hobby Lobby. It cost me less than a dollar to make each one. 

To put together, just print these free tags on colored paper. Then, call students one at a time and cut a piece of ribbon the same length as them. Put holiday confetti (optional- but the little snowflakes made a special touch) inside the clear ball and then add the ribbon. Attach the tag to the ornament. 

Ta-da…the easiest ornament ever!

I loved these so much that I'm made them with my own children. They make the perfect keepsake! You can download the gift tags HERE.

Happy Holidays, friends!


Turkey Time!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving break in my classroom are what I call TURKEY TIME! I wanted to share with you several fun (and free) turkey ideas and activities that are super easy to use.

One of my favorite activities is a fun family project where my kiddos disguise a turkey. I found this activity a several years ago on an amazing website-Mrs.Nelson's Class. She has the turkey printable I used (printed them on cardstock), as well as a parent letter to send home to explain the project for FREE!! That's right, FREE!!! Thank you, Mrs. Nelson!!! 
Here are some pictures of our disguised turkeys...prepare your hearts!! 

Artist Turkey

Bride Turkey

Chick-fil-A Turkey

 Georgia Power Turkey

GA Bulldogs Turkey

GA Cheerleader Turkey

Santa Turkey

Johnny Appleseed Turkey

Tae Kwon Do Turkey

New York Yankees Turkey

Gymnast Turkey

Princess Turkey

Baby Turkey

Super Model Turkey

Moon Turkey
Okay, I'll stop now! They are just too precious! To incorporate writing into the activity, I made a "Meet My Turkey" printable to go with their precious turkeys! They had a blast coming up with their responses!! You can download a free copy of my "Meet My Turkey" printable by just clicking on the picture below!

I'm obsessed with children's books, so I think I own about every turkey book out there. However, two of my favorites are A Turkey for Thanksgiving and Turkey Trouble. To continue working on identifying story elements, I created a flap book for Turkey Trouble and a graphic organizer for A Turkey for ThanksgivingDownload your free copy of the sheets here.

In math, we had fun making the cutest little number combination turkeys. You can easily differentiate this activity by letting your kiddos pick their own target number. 
The free template that I used is here if you want to use it, too.  

Informational writing is out focus this nine weeks. After researching about turkeys, we made these "I Am Stuffed with Facts About Turkeys" books. They were a big hit!

I don't have patterns for the book, but I promise these are super simple to put together!! I just free handed the feathers, folded a large piece of brown paper {w/ writing paper inside}, cut strips of brown paper for the legs, and let the kids cut out & decorate their own turkey head! I love how they turned out! 

My sweeties are also working hard and having fun with my Gobble, Gobble, Gobble Math and Literacy Centers, my Ready, Set, Print November set, and these DIGITAL November  ELA and Math Review activities!!

 If you need a little more turkey fever {that addresses standards} in your classroom, these will do the trick!  

And to wrap up a fun turkey week, I highly recommend this little turkey treat! Your kids will gobble them right up! If you are a peanut free classroom, use golden Oreos for the head instead of Nutter Butters. 

 To make these all you need are:
-chocolate chips or candy eyes (eyes)
-white icing (glue)
-sugar cookies(one cookie per child)
-candy corn (feathers)

- a small piece of a red Twizzler (wattle)
-Nutter Butter cookies or Golden Oreos (head)

Well, I'm all turkey tired now. Ha! I hope you were able to get some ideas and resources in this post to use in your classroom. If you did, I'd love to see them. Just tag me on Facebook or Instagram.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!!! 


Place Value Stacked Pumpkins (free download)

Monday, November 9, 2020
Only a teacher would be inspired by the stacked pumpkins on her porch to make a place value activity. What can I say?

My class has been working so hard on place value. Before pumpkin season is officially over, I thought I squeeze in one more little pumpkin activity to review it.

All I had to do was print out the free template here on colored paper. Then, the kids picked a number to represent using base ten blocks and expanded form on their stacked pumpkins. They turned out super cute! It also made the easiest fall display in our hallway! Now to add some turkeys before it's time to deck the halls with a whole bunch of holly jolly:) 

I hope you have the best week! 
Happy Teaching!! 


Spookley the Square Pumpkin Free Resources

Saturday, October 24, 2020

I just love when it's time to bring on the pumpkins. One of my favorite books to read to my students in October is The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. It delivers an important message of kindness and acceptance of others in a fun way for children. 

To go along with this book, I created a few activities to use with my first graders. They are a free download that I hope you can use, too! 

Spookley the Square Pumpkin Fun 

Spookley Graphic Organizer and Spookley Adjectives 

Spookley Writing Craft and Prompt

I loved seeing the creative, unique pumpkins my kids created during this writing activity. They make the perfect classroom or hallway display.. guaranteed to bring many smiles! For the pumpkins, we used scrapbook paper that I snagged on sale at Hobby Lobby, but regular construction paper and any craft supplies you have will work just as well! 

Spookley Treat

To sweeten things up after such a sweet book, we loved this treat! 
 It's super easy to make and inexpensive. All you need for this are graham crackers, orange frosting, candy eyes, mini chocolate chips, and something for the stem (I cut green Mike & Ikes in half).  My daughter gave it two thumbs up!

Click here to download these activities. 
I hope you enjoy them!!

Looking for DIGITAL October themed activities? Check these out.....

October Math and ELA Digital Activites

Happy Teaching!


Number Talks During Distance Learning

Thursday, July 9, 2020

I’m not sure about you all, but the end of last school year made my head spin. Frantically, we were pushed into distance learning. This summer, I’ve spent some time analyzing what worked and what I can improve on.  It seems like distance learning might be around for a while, so it was important for me to think about what I want my classroom procedures to look like regardless of the model of instruction. 

Quickly into distance learning, I realized, I had so many resources that were already able to easily be converted into our new normal. We always started our math block with number talks. This was a crucial part of our math routines because students were able to develop a strong foundation in number sense. In the early stages of distance learning, I made a promise to try to keep my routine as normal as I possibly could. Each day, students would ask about this routine. If I was absent, students would beg for me to leave instructions for a substitute. I’ve never had kids be so excited about a routine before! This excites me because number talks aren’t just a wonderful resource for learning about numbers and how they break down, but also a wonderful classroom management resource. I mean how often do kids ASK for a procedure that breaks down numbers?
In a typical classroom setting, I just display the slides as we go through. We discuss each computation and how we got the answer. The students love this time to share.  So Anna, how does that translate into the digital era we are in? The answer is easy! We schedule a morning meeting everyday through Google Meets or the platform your school allows. I will go into present mode and go through the slides the exact same way. The students are able to use the chat feature in order to respond to their question. At the beginning of the meeting I show students how to use the chat feature. We discuss that this feature is for our number talk conversations.  I encourage students to utilize the chat feature to discuss our number talks. 

During this challenging time, I was relieved that my students are still engaged in meaningful conversations about math and computation strategies. This gave me confidence that my students were still developing a deep understanding number sense even during this challenging time. Though so many things are unknown during this time, as educators, we know the best we can do is find a routine and stick to it.

I'm excited to share with you that these digital number talk lessons are now available in my TpT store for all grades K-5! They include everything you need to implement high quality number talks from a distance learning platform or in the classroom throughout the entire year. Click here to learn more about them (make sure to go to the custom categories tab to find your grade level). Samples are also included for you to give them a try!

In addition to my digital number talk resources, I have created several other digital friendly math and ela activities to use with my students. These can also be used remotely or as an assignment in the classroom.

Take care, friends! Thank you for making a difference every day!

For more quotes like this from Teaching with Haley O' Conner, click here (free).

3 Tips to Build Math Fact Fluency

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Let’s face it: math fact fluency for our students is necessary, but the typical fact repetition isn’t always the most engaging form of practice. I am always searching for fun AND exciting ways to help build fact fluency in my classroom. Having proficiency in math facts helps lay the foundation for future mathematicians, but I know it needs to be switched up from time to time.

Here are a few fresh ideas that I have found for my classroom and I hope you can incorporate them into your classroom routine as well!

1. Focus on Mental Math Strategies

In order for students to become fluent with math facts, they must have a variety of go-to strategies in their toolbox to pull from when they become stumped. Instead of focusing on memorizing facts, teach strategies to help students understand the relationship between numbers. Strategies like using doubles and make a ten are powerful. Having strategy posters displayed around the room is helpful for students! I also like to challenge by students to show me what strategy they used to solving a problem, and then ask them to find another strategy they could have used. It helps to strengthen those number connections!

2. Make it Fun and Engaging

If you want student buy-in for math fact practice, you have to make it exciting for them. There are many easy ways to do this!


The minutes I say “game” in my classroom, I immediately have buy-in. My students love any opportunity to play a game, and they don’t even realize that they are learning or practicing their skills! I have several addition and subtraction games and activities in my Let's Add and Let’s Subtract pack that my kids play throughout the year. They can be used in small groups, with a partner, independently, and even for homework. Many of the games also have differentiated options to support all levels of learning.

Partner Work

I find that my students are way more engaged in the learning activity when they get an opportunity to work with a partner! They get an opportunity to talk about math/adding numbers, learn from one another and most of all, have fun! Partner work can be super simple too. You can use a deck of cards and have students add or subtract as they both flip a card over, or do a similar activity with dice! It doesn’t have to be complicated, because your students will love the opportunity to work with a friend!


If you’re not singing in your classroom, what are you doing with with your life?! Haha! All jokes aside, music is one of the best ways to build lasting connections with your students! Here are some of my go-to songs for building math fluency!

3. Weekly Practice

Number talks are a great way to build math fact fluency, but not just with the standard rote memorization. With number talks, students are encouraged to share how they solved a problem, they get to listen to strategies from other students and prove their thinking. After implementing number talks with my students, I saw gains in my students number sense and place value understanding, mental math abilities and math fact fluency. My students actually looked forward to this part of our day and didn’t want to miss out on our number talks. If you want to learn more about how I conduct number talks, including paperless number talks, in my classroom, you can head over to this post.

While fact fluency does not come easy for every student, having these quick and easy tips to refer back to and incorporate into your classroom will hopefully help to build that fluency with your students!