December 30, 2015

Using a Hundreds Chart to Promote Mental Math

I don't know about you, but I LOVE hundreds chart activities. I, of course, balance my Math block with more than just using that strategy, but I have found that with my class this year, they are the most engaged with the activities I've given them that encourage the use of a hundreds chart.

That being said, I wasn't happy with always giving them hundreds chart mystery pictures which are very easy to find and easy to prep and I wasn't always happy with just giving them equations to solve and having a hundreds chart there. So, I created some new ones and we LOVED them!! Just like my Human Body Unit I posted a few months ago, these activities were created as I taught the unit, noticing what my students liked, what they didn't like, what needed differentiation, what their notebooks lacked, and what met the standards the best. It was a labor of love and I am so excited to finally share it with you all.

I have found that while Math is and should be very hands on at this age, it is easy to provide manipulatives and it is easy for students to get overwhelmed with too much fluff. So the contents included are primarily no prep or little prep materials that are challenging and engaging.

I am giving one of these beauties away over at my Facebook page so if you don't follow me there, you might want to jump on in! I'll be giving one away on December 31st! Let's end the year with a little fun and get back in the swing of things!! Click below to head there now and click the images above to head to the product to check it out. Happy New Year!!

GIVEAWAY! My newest unit is posted and I am SO excited about it. This one was a labor of love. Everything in this pack...
Posted by Daisy Designs on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29, 2015

Winter Celebration DAISY DOLLAR DAYS!

I am celebrating some HUGE personal family events this week and want to celebrate with YOU, too! Let's do a Daisy Dollar Day! Get ready for your January math centers with my Snowball Subtraction pack for only $1 through the rest of the week. Click the images below to check it out now!

December 28, 2015

Using the Break to Get Organized

Oh teachers... I'm sitting here in my little home office and thinking about the upcoming year. The break is half over and its time for me to start gearing myself up (yes... it takes me this long to gear up...). Every year one of my New Year's Resolutions is to get more organized. Every year, I do in fact, become more organized... but I struggle staying that way. I always fall short of my goal. This year, I will of course do my best and hopefully will do better than the last.

I've been pinning some other great blog posts and organization tips on getting (and hopefully staying) organized throughout the next year. Maybe they will help you, too! Even if they don't work for me this year, at least these posts and ideas are helping me get my mind wrapped around the idea of going back to work next week.

So without much further ado, here are my Pinspirations and current projects to get this year started off on the right foot!

I know, I know. I've seen a thousand of these pins everywhere and I have always thought... nah... that won't work for me. But my current system is definitely not working so I'm going to try it out. Simple enough for someone like me and doesn't require a lot of upkeep, so I'm going to try it out. Anyone else use this little organization trick? Let me know how it is going for you in the comments!

I absolutely love this idea to help with anchor charts. I have a great classroom with tons of storage but I don't have any wall space to speak of (they are all covered with cabinets), so storing anchor charts is a struggle. I have to tell you I have ordered a magnetic curtain rod TWICE from Amazon in the last few months and have had nothing but trouble receiving it. I guess I'll try actually leaving my computer chair for this one.

What would I do without Charity Preston in my life? Her Organized Classroom blog is a life-saver! This is actually a dish drying rack and I am going to snag one up (definitely decorate it with washi tape) and organize my files better. My current system of hanging file folders in my desk drawer for my frequently accessed stuff is just not working.

This year my schedule is amazing. My students have specials at the END of the day... meaning, I have my students non-stop from morning to afternoon and my planning period is at the end of the day. It's good and bad. The good thing is that after my students leave for specials, I have my 45 minutes of planning time, but then there's another hour after school till my contract time ends at 3. An hour and 45 minutes of time to myself?! It's a dream come true, right? Not really. Sometimes that 45 minutes is packed with meetings. If not, yes, it's great! Except I have a hard time focusing on getting things ready for the week/next day. I'm tired and ready to go home. So one of my favorite bloggers is going to help me. Miss DeCarbo rocks! I'm busy working on an after-school checklist similar to hers that will hopefully get me into some good habits this year.

Phew! I've got some work to do!

December 14, 2015

Survive the Last Week FREEBIE

Oh, teachers... we are almost there. To help you out on the last handful of days... here's a forever freebie. I know I'll be using it. Easy, low-prep, and a fun review game for compound words. ENJOY!

December 13, 2015

December Got Me Like...

I have been a crazy mess this December 2015. On top of that, I am SICK for the first time this school year on the very last week of school before the break. UGH! I just gotta make it 4 and a half more days!!!!!

This is just a fun post. December got me like:

Make sure you stop by the IG later tonight for a fun FREEBIE LOOP! Tons of great freebies available to snag up for your last week. <3

Stop by later tonight for some major freebie action!! Woo-hoo!!! #tpt #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram #teacherfreebies #freebieloop

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

November 29, 2015

Top Wishlisted Items

In case you haven't heard, TpT is having a SITEWIDE SALE on Monday and Tuesday!!! It's my favorite time of year, people!! These don't happen that often, so us teachers basically lose our minds during the few there are. My cart is packed and my apology face to my husband and bank account is ready to whip out ("But they were on sale!").

Don't forget, if it is a teacher resource and you're a teacher, all your purchases on TpT are tax deductible, and if you are a seller and it's clipart, it's tax deductible! WIN!

I think my favorite part of this sale is the code: SMILE. It has begun a happy, smiley movement on Instagram with sellers posting smiling pictures of themselves from childhood. I had to join in. What fun, right?

Sale begins November 30th

And just for fun, I'm joining in a fun linky party over at Teaching in the Tongass to share with you the three most wishlisted items in my store. If these items are on your wishlist, now's the time to snag them!

My Superhero Creative Writing pack has forever been my number 1 best selling product and I'm pretty sure it will always be in the lead. Last year, during a product swap, Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten chose this product to use with her advanced first graders and was kind enough to snap some pictures of it in use. 

This is only one page in this huge pack. I plan on using this pack with my second graders in February as that is when our next narrative writing unit will be. Can't wait!
Here's the link to check out my SUPERHERO CREATIVE WRITING PACK.

My Kindergarten Reading Wonders Units are a huge hit in my store and all of the units are on quite a few wishlists out there. This customer specifically commented on Unit 9, however all of the units are included in a giant bundle that will also be included in the sale. Already a money-saver, the bundle will go from it's current $130 (which already saves you $70) to BELOW $100... Each unit is valued at $20 each, so this saves you HALF.

These were a life-saver for my own classroom last year when I taught Kindergarten and I am thrilled that they are useful to other teachers using the Wonders program as well. Check out the preview images below.

Click the link to see all of the units: KINDERGARTEN WONDERS UNITS

And last but not least, the Recognition Badges I have in my store are a top wishlist item. These are designed to either go in lanyards that students can wear throughout the day or printed on labels to peel and stick on their shirts. Similar to brag tags, these labels are less prep for teachers and just as effective for students to "brag" about their achievements. Periodically, I add more designs, so if you purchase or have purchased in the past, just check your "My Purchases" tab to download new ones as they are added. The price on this pack will never go up, but now is a great time to snag them because the price is going DOWN! Woo-hoo!!!

Here are some sample badges from the pack:

Happy shopping, everyone! I can't wait to spend some money! ;)

November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Break!

Hello readers! Like probably all teachers, my November was a whirlwind of a month! I cannot believe how it flew by and that Thanksgiving is now in the past! Which my bathroom scale is happy about...

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I need to wrap my head around a few things...

I am spending the remainder of my Thanksgiving Break resting thinking about school... I have so many changes to plan for:

At the start of the year I only had 15 students... now I have 22. Not sure how this happened, but it did, and some of my procedures are just not working with the larger number of students.

My Smart Board was finally repaired. I need to brush up on using it since I haven't used one in a couple of years. It is actually an old Inter Write board, but it is certainly much better than nothing and I can't wait to start integrating it into instruction!

It is officially time to start Christmas-y stuff in my classroom. I have a small tree that I need to set up and a box of fun decorations. My mother-in-law is going to help me set it all up before Monday that way I don't have to worry about it later. This year I am repeating what I did last year. I wrapped holiday books in Christmas wrapping and laid them underneath the tree. Everyday, we unwrapped a story, read it together, and journaled about it. I KNOW that this class specifically is going to love it. There will be plenty of pics to come and a list of the books I'll be using this year.

If you are interested in wrapping your books and journaling as well, I have a FREEBIE in my store to help you (which just got a major makeover with better graphics and fonts!). Click the picture below to download your freebie!

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend/break, teachers! Before long, I'll be wishing you a Merry Christmas! <3

November 14, 2015

Product Swap Blog Hop GIVEAWAY!

Hey there readers! I am so excited to share with you about this amazing product swap giveaway I have been a part of! Christina over at Hanging Around in Primary and Melanie at Momma With a Teaching Mission started this really fun product swap. Teacher bloggers/sellers swapped products for a chance to review them. Not only that, but we are all looped together to make it a fun blog hop! At the end of this post, click the check mark to go to the next blogger! Each set of posts will allow you to collect letters to spell out a mystery message AND give you an opportunity to win over $90 in products! If you like the products we have swapped and reviewed, enter the giveaway for a chance to win them all! WOOOO!

I swapped products with the amazing Mrs. D's Corner and am thrilled to share with you an incredibly useful product from her TpT store.

Our current Science unit in Second Grade is life cycles and this product caught my eye in Stephanie's store. By the looks of the preview I could see so much potential for students to make writing connections, use what they know, and have fun creating their foldable pieces. One other thing that struck my interest was that although the images in her product instructions, preview, and product cover show a file folder lapbook, these printable pieces could also be used within an Interactive Science Notebook (which I am a HUGE fan of). Because my class just did a lapbook on bats a few weeks ago, I decided to go with the INB usage of this product. I hope the photos I have here really show you the versatility of this product. I was very impressed with how thorough it is and how easily I could adapt the activities to fit the needs of my 20 kiddos.

Please keep in mind, I did not use every single page within the product. Take a look at the preview in Stephanie's TpT store to see everything included.


(I realized after I took this picture that this student forgot his arrows... We placed it in their notebooks going clockwise. Sorry about that!)

We got a lot of our information from a video I found on YouTube. The activity in this product allowed students to take notes about each stage. I simply paused the video after each stage and students wrote down their info underneath each flap. This student really thought the sesame seed information was interesting. If you are interested in the video I used, I found it HERE.


If you look at the preview of this product, these pieces go across the entire bottom of a lapbook if that's the way you'd like to complete the activity. In our notebooks, we left them solid and glued them in sideways. Students cut the squares out and sequenced them in order from beginning to end, discussing each stage as we got to it. I really liked this specific activity because it didn't just focus on the main stages. It included what the caterpillar does while it is a caterpillar (eating leaves and then beginning to hang itself up to begin the next stage) and the emerging butterfly, which I have found that kids are really curious about! It was also great practice for sequencing, which is always a good skill to practice. This activity also included a short writing prompt which really made the students think and utilize their knowledge on life stages as well as content vocabulary.


This kiddo had a little bit of a difficult time gluing this one but his answers were so sweet, I had to include it! This was one of my favorite activities in the whole product. The students were able to put a personal spin on the topic by answering questions like "What would YOU do?" Underneath each wing was where they wrote their answers.

I agree! The road is certainly not a safe place to fly! I'll stick with the ice cream shop. :)


This was absolute PERFECT timing for this activity as we are studying poetry in ELA at the moment. I absolutely LOVE how these turned out! These two students (above and below) worked together on this and had similar answers, but I had to share! I was so proud of them and how these turned out!

There was also this vocabulary flip flap foldable. I am not sure why this student highlighted proboscis. Maybe she liked that word? Anyway, under each flap we wrote a brief definition of each word.

As you can see, I used quite a big chunk of this product! There were two activities that I did not use, strictly due to time (there's never enough of that, can I get an Amen?). If used as a lapbook, there are beautiful cover pages for the front of the lapbook as well as two other activities: a butterfly and moth compare and contrast Venn diagram; and a First, Next, Then, Last flap book for writing more detailed descriptions for each.

If you'd like more details on this product, check out Mrs. D's Corner on TpT by clicking the image below.

Just as I received a product from Stephanie, she received one of my products to review! It's one of my favorites, so be sure to check out her post about the Weather Mobile and Poems Craftivity if you haven't already by clicking the image below:

But the fun isn't over yet! Enter the giveaway for your chance to win some awesome prizes! You'll need to enter some information you found on each post, so be sure to hop through them all. The information to enter for the Daisy Designs section is "check" as I have a check mark! Ahhh! This is fun! Below my check mark are the images of all the awesomeness you have a chance at winning! Don't forget to keep on clicking through for more entries in the giveaway and some awesome photos of great products in use.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 9, 2015

Some Time Away for the Hubs

Hello blog! Long time, no see! I've been away for a few days with my husband and we had a BLAST!

My husband is a popular video game streamer and YouTuber and this past weekend was an insanely HUGE convention in California called BlizzCon. If you've ever heard of games like Diablo, Starcraft, and the notable World of Warcraft, then you've heard of the company Blizzard who makes them. My husband is known for his skill (and goofy personality) in World of Warcraft. This was our first time there and it was so much fun! I know this is a little off-topic for my blog, but I am so proud of him and his achievements (no pun intended, gamers) that I needed to show him off! Take a look at the pictures from our Instagrams and Twitters!

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

I don't expect you to know any of the streamers/YouTubers above (but if you do, shout out in the comments!), but it was AMAZING to meet them! What a weekend!

To celebrate and catch up on some missed blogging, let's do a Daisy Dollar Day!!! Click the image below to get Dino-Mite Kindergarten Math Centers for only $1!

November 1, 2015

Birthday Currently!

It's my birthday week! Tuesday is my birthday and I'm excited this year! I will be 28 on Tuesday. <3

I'm also the Currently sponsor for Farley's awesome linky!!! WOOOOO!

I'm also going out of town this week to BlizzCon, a convention for a video game company that my husband and I love!

This month is going to ROCK!

Sorry for the abruptness of this post, but my best friend is here to help me celebrate my birthday! So excited!!!!

October 28, 2015

Character Pumpkins: Celebrating Fall and Reading

Fall is by far my favorite season and this year is no exception so far! This year with my second graders, I had them do a special take home project with a book they chose from my classroom library. They were to read the book and paint a pumpkin to look like the character! It was a total blast. I couldn't believe the detailed pumpkins I got back! Take a look:

First up we have Spongebob, Cat in the Hat, and Fly Guy! I am totally loving Fly Guy's potato nose.

Then we've got Curious George, Skippy Jon Jones, and David (specifically from David Goes to School where he eats the dog biscuits).

And here we have a rockin' Pete the Cat, a more obscure character named Billie B. Brown (this student is in love with those books and this one comes equipped with her baby brother!), and the classic Ribsy from the old Beverly Cleary book. I was so excited to see my higher readers picking up books in my classroom library that I loved as a kid! Look at that cute doggy pumpkin!!!

Each student read their book at school and again to their parents at home. We journaled about our reading and retold the key details of each story to their small groups. It was such a neat way to combine the season of Fall with our favorite stories.

Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Halloween!!!

October 25, 2015

Sunday Scoop and Lots of Excitement!

Can't forget one of my favorite linkies! Thanks, Teaching Trio!


I was a smart cookie and did most of my lesson plans last week. Just need to finish up a few things that I didn't have time for and send them on to admin. Woo-hoo! Feeling good!

I have been amazing at the gym lately... which is great considering all the crappy food I've been eating....

If you haven't heard, today is the first official Daisy Dollar Day! Click the images below to go to the original blog post and see what I've got cooking for only $1 today!


I have been reading the same book for so long because I just can't seem to get a good reading schedule down. It doesn't help that I am so pooped after work that when I do start to read, I'm so relaxed that I immediately fall asleep!

That being said, let's watch Gilmore Girls instead! ;)


TWD is back and I am SO EXCITED!!!!! Episode 3 tonight!!!

Daisy Dollar Days!

Can you believe it's another Sunday?! I haven't blogged in a week! Last week I had some sort of stomach bug and used my first sick day of the year. Not bad, right?! I made it through the first quarter without using a sick day! That's certainly an improvement from last year. :)

What have you been spending your Sunday morning doing? I made over one of my oldies this morning and could not be happier with the results! Take a look: (And scroll down... there MIGHT be a fun surprise at the end........)





I added some more attractive graphics and made the entire product much more kid friendly. Wait till you see the coloring pages for each little skit! They are so darling and so much fun!

If you've already purchased this product, go to your purchases tab on TpT and re-download to get the changes. If you do not already own this product... (I can't believe I'm doing this...) It will be on sale for ONLY $1. Oh my gosh...

That being said, let's start a brand new linky! I am SO EXCITED to annouce Daisy Dollar Days! Every two weeks, I will be posting a product from my store on sale for only $1. Other teachers may join in as well! For today, my new and improved Under the Sea Scenes are on sale for only $1!

If you are a seller and would like to join the fun, BLOG with me! Copy the image below, add your product cover, and link up your awesome sale blog post! (PLEASE read the rules below).

Blog posts ONLY
No product links
Must use Daisy Dollar Days button (above)
Bi-weekly on Sundays

And, just for fun and to celebrate the very first Daisy Dollar Days, why not do TWO products for only $1?!

Click the image to get this regularly priced $5 Halloween product for only $1!

I am so excited to announce this new linky and new makeover, that I'm going to stretch this Dollar Day to TWO days. Yep, I've lost my mind...

Sellers who are participating in the first bi-weekly Daisy Dollar Days, link your blog posts below! I can't wait to browse the other sales! Happy shopping!