June 2015 - Down River Resources | Your Elementary Math Guide
Howdy, friends.
I was checking out other great Texas bloggers today, in honor of SOCIAL MEDIA DAY 2015. I bet you didn't even know that there was such a thing?! Another frivolous fact I bring to you, my friends!
Marcy from Saddle Up for 2nd Grade is part of a group called the Weekend Warriors. They are a group of bloggers who share monthly education tips and tricks! This past weekend, they shared their 3-2-1 Teacher Bio and 65 other bloggers linked up. I am still learning all of the amazing things you can do with blogs, so bare with me! This should give you some personal insight into me and my classroom!
1. You will often find piles of papers in my classroom. I am not disorganized. I just have no time to put them away as I am always on my feet monitoring students or working in small groups.
2. I love bright colors in my classroom and on my body! You may remember my word wall from this past school year (See photo below)! My mom used to buy my sister and I bright colored outfits too. I was THE GIRL in the orange shirt and short combination on school picture day! I was THE GIRL in the flower-patterned dress for her First Holy Communion! (Luckily, I selected my own wedding dress so it was white! WHEW!)
3. I am a standards-based teacher. Want to be my friend? FOLLOW THE STANDARDS! I love tried-and-true activities, but if they do not match the standards, I will not be participating. This is the first lesson my colleagues learn each year. Laura is the rule follower. I am not ashamed. I do not mind if you choose not to follow the rules (just please shut your door.) :-)
1. I have a strong feeling of love and loyalty for my family. I love my husband of two years, who has been my best friend of six years. He keeps me centered, focused, and loved. He is committed, tender, and so intelligent...handsome as all get out too! I am so blessed to have a loving helpmate (he secretly follows my blog...I love you, honey.)
I love the family to which I was given! My mother and father are a beautiful example that love is the greatest of all things. My big brother is an excellent example of selflessness, always making sacrifices for his family (wife and 5-year-old daughter) around his crazy shiftwork hours.  My little sister is such and admirable mother of two adorable boys (4 month old and 2-year-old) and wife of a husband who travels for work.
In addition to loving my family, I am also devoted to preserving my family's history. I enjoy recording family stories of the past.
2. I serve a big and faithful God and through Him I have been able to use my gifts and talents to achieve all that I dreamed of in my career. My career dream was being an instructional specialist which I achieved last year. I decided to go back to the classroom this year and have a larger impact on a small group of students and their families. I want to continue living out my vocation as a teacher.
My bucket list mostly consists of traveling, since I am not much of a dare devil (cautious, call me cautious). I would love to able to travel to Poland and soak up the culture, food, and music. We are very much a Polish family! My dad plays polkas on his accordion and we love to make and eat Polish dishes. It's probably genetic that I like bright colors too...have you seen Polish art? Beautiful!
I hope this enlightens you a little more on la vida de Laura (the life of Laura). I had fun sharing.
Happy Googling (Polish Art...haha)!
Howdy, friends.

I am continuing to participate in the TpT Seller Challenge this week. Sellers are daring to dream and share their visions for their businesses with us all.

I am very goal-oriented and usually have many things I am working towards in my life. I recently had an experience that has centered my soul in so many ways, after achieving a long dreamed of goal. 

Professionally, it has been my desire to be an instructional specialist. This school year, that dream came true! I was given a promotion and served as a campus instructional specialist for a group of 35 amazing teachers and 600 beautiful students. Achieving that goal was certainly a blessing. I was so happy supporting teachers and working alongside them. I made a difficult decision to leave this special group of people and go back to my old school to work as a teacher, yet again.
I am overjoyed with my decision, though many people do not understand. In our society, we overall expect colleagues to go "up the ladder" not down it. With my new perspective on so many things, I have become more centered and feel a sense of peace with the "now" of my life. My three goals for "Kindergarten Down River" reflect this time in my life for sure. They are goals that I am meeting now, but want to continue meeting daily.
Goal 1: Live out my vocation. 

I want to do anything and everything that I am called to do. I feel called to teaching and sharing my gift with others.

Goal 2: Help other teachers implement standards by designing creative resources.

This corresponds with my first goal. I feel that part of my vocation is to help others in their mission field of teaching. The Internet, and especially TeachersPayTeachers, has made this a great platform for me to be able to meet this goal. Before, I could only help and support the teachers I would surround myself with; whether it be my three colleagues in kindergarten or the 150 teachers I would train for my school district. Now, my circle of influence has expanded dramatically because of this blog and my resource center on TpT.

Goal 3: Give my students hands-on experiences to my students that I would not otherwise be able to provide for them.

With the relationships I have built with other teachers, I am able to give my students a better education. I use a variety of instructional resources, including others' ideas from blogs and resources on TpT. My earnings as a seller supplements my instruction and allows me to give so many more opportunities to my students. I will continue to fund hands-on experiences that will enhance my students' learning.

Happy Dreaming!

Cupcake Comparisons Game
Howdy, Friends!
This summer, some TpT friends decided it would be fun to start a revolution...I do not know if they planned on how widely spread the participation would be...but it is blowing up the internet, Instagram, Pinterest, and all of the other things that I'm still learning! 
I am committed to completing the four weeks of challenges, which should be most beneficial to you, my dear friends. I will be enhancing current products and making Kindergarten Down River a comprehensive place to find the resources you need!
As part of Week One, I decided to give one of my favorite freebies a facelift! If you have not downloaded this great math center, do it! Right now!
Enhancements include:
-Colorful cover page
-Classy borders on pages
-Larger number cards better for cutting, laminating, and cutting again
-Easier to use recording sheets
Join over 700 other teachers are they implement this comparing number game in their classrooms. It is perfect for kindergarten and first grades throughout the year, or a great back-to-school center for second grade!
Enjoy the facelift! There's more to come...

P.S. Have you started following my NEW INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT? Click here to follow my journey as a teacher!

Happy Downloading and Following!


Howdy, friends!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Target Dollar Spot has your back to school baskets, stickers, pocket charts, dry erase boards, and so much more...I know most of you will not finish reading this as you are jumping in your car and headed to your neighborhood Target! (I do not blame you!)
For the rest of you...I'll tell you about how I use my favorite Dollar Spot finds...
I am always a fan of the storage options that the Target Dollar Spot offers, each year I add a few containers to my colorful collection. (My colorful storage baskets are the most complimented items in my classroom.)
The 8x11 baskets shown above are the perfect size for collecting papers, storing extra paper for writing centers, holding literary and mathematics center materials, or anything else you can think of. You can color code the baskets for the specific centers that they correspond with too!  
I love using the small stickers to place in student agendas to indicate to parents that their student had a great day at school! If there is no sticker in their agenda, I will write a note to their behavior that was an issue throughout the day.
Happy Shopping!
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