Resources That Keep Us Afloat, a Blog Hop, and a Giveaway!

We all have our go-tos, right?  Go-to coffee mug, go-to comfy sweatshirt, go-to favorite teacher pens.  Well, today, I'm sharing my absolute favorite go-to Teachers Pay Teachers products that I use in my classroom!
First up, I am so thankful for Tanja from Journey of a Substitute Teacher!
Not only are her seasonal sub plans amazing and her Reading Activities for Any Book, but she also has easy prep and super fun Mad for Math dice and domino activities! 
These are perfect for my math center bins!  You can see that I decided to do the 3 digit expanded form, greater or fewer with double digit numbers, and fraction activities.  I copied the direction pages on colored paper, slipped them in plastic page protectors, and made enough copies of the recording sheet.

I placed everything, along with some fun foam dice in my math center drawers.  I currently have 8 drawers that pairs of kids rotate through.  

These girls were pumped about those big dice! And look how engaged they are! Teacher heaven!

These girls were also excited about the colored foam dice.  The smiles on their faces say it all!

Here are two more math products that keep me afloat!

Since I'm not a fan of my school's math program, I would be struggling without Denise's Common Core math assessments!  They are straight forward, minimal reading, and really assess what each standard is asking.

The other one is Corinna's monthly word problems.  I have the whole year bundle! They spiral skills and really help the kids with critical thinking and problem solving skills.

You can see that these are great for using Singapore Math-style visuals.  And the written component is perfect practice for my kids who struggle with articulating how they solve problems.  

To partner with these word problems, I use my Math Problem Solving Strategy posters everyday! The kids have gotten really good at figuring out how to solve problems!

Here they are up in my room.  We refer to them! I ran out of wall space, so I stuck them up on some window louvers that I never open anyway.  Perfect way to maximize the wall space! 

And my latest product upload is also a life saver that I've been using all year, but just finally got up on TpT - Math Vocabulary Dictionaries

We all know that math vocabulary can be hard and that's what trips kids up on tests and exams - especially state tests.  Since my kids are in 2nd, it's part of my job to help get them ready for the state test they'll take next year.  Keeping these math vocabulary books all year long help us build on previous knowledge and have a valuable resource to use in various lessons.  

There are three ways these can be organized - Common Core, quarterly, or alphabetically.  There are also 3 ways to bind them - copy back to back and staple in the middle with a long-armed stapler, cut in half and bind with a book binder, or cut in half, fold the cover over, and staple with a heavy-duty stapler.  

Now, hopefully I've given you some good ideas for the upcoming TpT sale

***** GIVEAWAY TIME!! *****
To help make a smaller dent in your pocket, I'm giving away one item in my store (under $10) to one lucky reader!  Leave me a comment below and let me know what your go-to classroom item is - maybe it's your Mr. Sketch markers, or your favorite Pandora station - it doesn't have to be a TpT product (but maybe it is!)  Make sure you leave your email in your comment and that you follow my blog some way (Bloglovin, email, or Google Friend Connect).  Good luck!


  1. My common core math assessment pack from Clutter Free Classrooms keep me afloat.

  2. I love seeing real pictures from products from other great teachers!!
    Thank you so much,
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards!

  3. My go-to product is my paper trimmer! I don't know what to do without it!

  4. What keeps me afloat is TPT. I can't tell you how many products from here I use. I started teaching a new program Wonders by McGraw Hill. Stuckey in Second has created wonderful supplemental material for this program that I couldn't live without this year. I do follow your blog on bloglovin and facebook and would love to have some of your products including the 2 above: problem solving strategies and math vocabulary book (I tried to win that on facebook:) Thank you for the opportunity to try to win one!

  5. My go-to product is my computer and projector in the classroom. I use it constantly during the day. I have eyed your problem solving strategy posters often - would love to win them! :-)

  6. I need my Sharpies and chart paper!

  7. TPT and my Promethean Board keep me afloat! I am a follower!

  8. As a special education teacher, my go-to items are velcro & heavy-duty laminating.

  9. My document camera is definitely something I could not teach as well without! I follow on Bloglovin!

  10. MY CAMERA/ PHONE! I love taking pictures of my kiddos in action!!

  11. My SMARTboard and lesson planner!

  12. I use daily math self starts from Lory Evans. My kids are already rocking some of the concepts I haven't taught in depth yet!

  13. These are great! So many great bloggers and products! I'm so glad I discovered TPT!


  14. I am definitely in to Interactive notebooks this year and they have saved me many times this year!

  15. What would I do without my document camera??? I have no idea!! :)


  16. I have 3 go to, reading blogs and TpT! :o)


  17. My go-to is definitely my computer...they recently worked on mine and I was without it for nearly two days...I was so lost! (And I even had to send a boy to the office the old-fashioned way since we do attendance online!)

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  18. I love my Smartboard, and many, many great products I've purchased at TPT. Invaluable!

  19. After 11 years of teaching Grades 4-6+, I volunteered to move down to the primary grades!!! My journey with my Grade 2s has been nothing short of amazing <3. That being said, my colleagues and TpT (your magnificent shop included =D ), has saved me from drowning more times than I can count!! I am a huge fan of yours, Nicole, and follow you on FB and bloglovin'. I would be absolutely honoured to win your "Math Vocabulary Dictionary" for my class <3. Thank you for considering me for this giveaway =).

  20. Always want my colorful Flair markers. Perfect for marking papers and writing notes!

  21. TPT and reading blogs!! So thankful for a teaching community that shares all their wonderful ideas! Your math vocabulary dictionaries look amazing!

  22. Following blogs on bloglovin' has certainly changed the way I do things in the classroom. But if I'm picking a product, I think it would be my new tablet I got this summer. I'm using it as a listening center, connecting to my smart board for all kinds of visual lessons, and following lots of blogs!

  23. keeps me afloat with all these snow days.

  24. My go to item is my horse shoe table so that I can easily work with small groups. I love using it to help my struggling math students. I'm really enjoying reading your posts through bloglovin. My email is