Snowman Fun, Freebies, and a Place Value Sneak Peek!

Happy New Year, friends!  2015....really?!?!

Have you made any resolutions?  Me...notsomuch.  Of course, I always want to be a better version of who I was the year before, but resolutions never quite "stick" if you know what I mean.  Sure...I want to eat healthier.  Work out more.  Get more organized.  Keep the house clean.  Do the laundry...regularly ;)  Yes...I want all those things.  And to eat all the things and still be able to fit into my jeans.  But really...I just want to have a great year filled with lots of laughter and more memories than I can count.

Instead of a resolution, I'm going into 2015 with a  mantra...

I think that sums it all up perfectly.  And I'm starting this book to help me get better at saying "yes" to the things that really count.

I tried to start it a while back, but I'm not the best at time management, so I never got around it.  Dangit.  

Anyway, whatever you resolve to do...or whatever your mantra may be for the new year...I pray that 2015 brings you MANY blessings!!!!  

Before we look ahead to the new year, let's take a look back at a few things we did going into the new year in years past.   Maybe there are some activities and freebies that will help you with your planning these next few weeks!!  

This is typically how I start the new year with my cuties.  These were our goals in 2011...

In 2011, I blogged all about these snowman activities.  

I got this cutie snowman painting idea from What the Teacher Wants and then paired that with a reading response for Snowmen at Night.  You can read all about our fun that day HERE.

The following year, I was inspired by The Elementary Art Room with this cute snowman craftivity.
I decided to have the kids create this with their response to the story.  LOVE the way they turned out!!!  You can check out our writing HERE.

At the time we were also working on expository writing.  I had my kids build their own snowman out of construction paper...create a little scene...and then write about HOW to build a snowman.  

Here's what we did when I taught Kindergarten in 2013.  I made these little snowman parts in power point (sorry...I don't have the file!!! :() and then had the kids build the snowman and then write about how they built it.  In these parts of Texas, my kids will probably never have a chance to build a snowman, so this was a way to make the writing a bit more tangible and relevant.

We were also working on blends, so I created this simple little activity.  You can grab it for FREE!!!

Speaking of FREE...and who doesn't love free?!?!'s a little freebie I blogged about that same year.  A little something fun for the writing center. 

And of course, a few little math freebies, too!

This little math craftivity was inspired by Joanna Davis at We Heart Art.  I used her cutie snowman for  problem solving. They used their thumprints to create the snowflakes and then made patterns on the snowman's scarf.  You can read all about it HERE.

I love introducing the concept of symmetry in January.  Really, any time of the year is appropriate, but I love the activities I can do this time of the year with this concept.

Here we are making a symmetrical snowman.  This really helped the kids to "get" the concept.

And we've made these symmetrical snowflakes as long as I've been teaching!  13 years!  Say what?!

This was such a FUN whole group math game!!!!  My kids LOVED it!  A great way 
to reinforce making 10 while keeping with the whole snowman theme.  #targetsnowflakesforthewin

Speaking of games, this was another class favorite!!!  Aaaahhh!!!  This was SUCH a blast for the kids...they asked to play it almost every day after that!  Great way to reinforce the concept of comparing numbers.

Speaking of's another "making 10" game we loved.  Only with this one, we practiced using the number line.  You can read more about it HERE.

Here was a little patterning activity we got from Julie Lee at Mrs. Lee's Kinder Kids.  I absolutely LOVED these!!  So did my kids!

This was a game we played a TON last year.  It really works with ANY skill.  You can find out how we played it in this post.

Another favorite was this great sight word activity we kept out almost all winter long.  My kids had to dig for sight words and build them with "snowballs".  You can grab the FREEBIE HERE.

We did SO much more in January in the years past, but this post would be a mile long if I included everything.  So I'll save that for another post...maybe tomorrow or the day after that.  Hopefully these activities will help you with your planning the next few weeks!!!

Here's a little something I'm THRILLED about going into the new school new Place Value Intervention packet of activities!!!

Does that sound silly?? #teachernerd

I'm really passionate about teaching math and place value is one of my most favorite concepts to teach.  Here is a little sneak peek at just a few of the activities in the packet...

Climb the ladder is a fun small group game where kids have to correctly answer several different questions about a number and the value of it's digits to win the game.  

The pyramid place value tray is a different twist on building numbers and I absolutely love anything I can put a twist on.   I really believe in taking one concept and finding lots of different ways to practice the skill so that the novelty doesn't wear off.

Not only does this intervention packet include lots of whole group & small group games & activities, but it also provides opportunities for independent practice and reinforcement.  That's something our kids can NEVER do enough!!!

I like using independent acivities for whole group lessons as well.  It's a great way to introduce a concept.  And when the kids are familiar with a game/activity, that's less reteaching you have to do later on and less interruption you'll get when it comes time for that independent practice.

Speaking of independent practice, I included 15 different print & practice activity sheets.  These would be great for morning work, homework, or anything you can think of.

And if you have interactive journals in your classroom, I also included a few supplemental (editable) journaling pages for additional practice and reinforcement opportunities.

If you're in the market for a few more place value resources, I have this available as well.  Lots of hands on games and fun for this skill!!!

And if you're looking for a few things to help your planning go a little smoother while transitioning into the 2nd semeseter of the school year (WOO HOO!!!!), here are a few things that might be able to help!!!

Have a FABULOUS weekend before the crazy starts up again!!!!  


  1. Wow. You have a lot of great products to choose from to start the new year off right. Thanks so much for your hard work!

  2. oh, I love all these ideas! Thank you! I was in my classroom today getting ready for school on Monday and this post is just what I needed to get me inspired! I make mantras too! This year, I will "live with grace." Happy New Year!

  3. I am reading "The Best Yes" right now too! I really like it! I think Lysa's heart is just amazing and I learn so much from her!

    Happy New Year!

    ABCs and Polkadots

  4. You amaze me Cara! I really don't have the words to begin to tell you what an inspiration you are. I sometimes get so stressed by all of the pressure put on us that I forget to bring in the creativity and engagement that I love...and that I know creates so many of those ah-ha moment for our kiddos. I know our blogs often highlight the best of what we do but I know that even without these awesome activities you are a teacher who loves her kiddos more than you can find the words to express it yourself. I know also that your room is full of lots of laughter and giggles because you are a HOOT!

    YOU are doing the things that count. Your love for the Lord, your faith, and your family are a wonderful example to others. But what is counting in so many ways...more than any of US can count...are the lives and the hearts of the teachers and students you are touching. Thank you for blessing us and myself in infinite ways. I love you to the moon and back sweet friend.

    Heather's Heart