October 12, 2015


I'm linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It. A while ago I decided I really wanted a Plinko board for my classroom. I looked all over Pinterest and decided it was a doable project. I figured a pegboard, some pegs, and an acrylic front and I'm good. I asked my dad to help me with the project and off to Home Depot we went. I'm not awesome at building things, but my dad definitely is. I still remember the cool wooden covered wagon we built for a project when I was in fourth grade. Anyways, as we were shopping for supplies he had a lot of great ideas for the Plinko board. Those ideas where a little above my skill level though, haha. So he took on the project and the results are a-mazing! See...

It took him a long time, but he was quite the perfectionist with it. It's solid wood, has two back wheels for easier transport, push button ball release, and even a locking mechanism in case I want to lock the balls inside. I use ping-ball sized bouncy balls. Last year my parents delivered it to my classroom. My kiddos LOVED it! I used it as part of my behavior management plan. Every day I had two secret mystery students. At the end of the day I revealed their names. If they had a clean desk and at least 5 Class Dojo points those two students got to play Plinko. They released two balls and added up the numbers they landed on (addition practice!). I gave them that many tickets to spend later in our class store. If the class got cleaned up early I also chose some bonus students to play Plinko (not for tickets, but just a fun way to review addition). He even made me several number sets so I could change them out for each holiday.

Whenever other kids were in my classroom they were immediately drawn to Plinko and wanted to play. I know building it was a lot of work, but it's so worth it! Pretty sure I have the best dad!

August 19, 2015

One Day Sale!

One day sale over at Teachers Pay Teachers! 
Check it out! 
Save 28%!

Even my bundles are on sale!


August 2, 2015

Back to School Sale

The Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale starts tomorrow!

Looking for some new stuff for back to school? How about some readers to help students master phonics patterns and word families?


Have fun shopping!

July 30, 2015

Word Family Readers

So I somehow ended up with pneumonia for most of June. It was so completely draining and awful! The only upside was that is gave me a lot of time to work on this product! 

I loved using my Phonics Readers this last school year to help students practice each phonics pattern in context. They loved coloring the books and interacting with the text. Some of students needed me to break our target phonics pattern into easier chunks, so I started using word families with those kiddos. So after introducing the short a sound during whole group I would pull a small group to work on -at words, -am words, -ap words, etc. After they mastered those word families I had them read and interact with my Short A Phonics Reader. One of my summer goals was to make some easy readers that each focused on a word family so students could interact with each chunk.

And my Word Family Readers were born!

Just like my Phonics Readers it is super easy to have students interact with the text! I've used Wikki Stix, highlighting tape, witch fingers, bingo daubers, and highlighters. Use whatever you have on hand that will make students EXCITED!

Also like my Phonics Readers, these were designed with teachers in mind. I don't have time to fold up little books or put all the pages in order after cutting and I don't think you do either. Those work great when you only have to make 1 copy, but making 30 copies would take forrrrrever. These are one cut wonders! I like to copy double sided, staple the edge (at school I staple with the copy machine and then add a couple reinforcement staples by hand) , and then just cut on the dotted line. Easy peasy, and you end up with 2 readers. This format is so much quicker when you have to make class sets.

Here's a preview! It shows the 40 word families that are included. The last few pages show one complete reader (-am family).

This set includes short vowel word families and some tricky ones like ink and all. I'm planning on making a second set that focuses on long vowel word families.

July 29, 2015

New Blog Design

I've decided to rebrand a little bit and change from Simply Second to Teaching with Mrs. Hynst (I regretted choosing a name that was grade specific) . I've changed my url to mrshynst.com. On Teachers Pay Teachers I'm just going by my name, Caitlin Hynst. To go along with the rebrand I've been working on a new blog design. It's definitely still a work in progress, but it's coming along. Google has been my friend as I try to remember how to customize everything!

So pardon the dust as I work to complete the design!

June 26, 2015

My Favorite Cup

I'm linking up with Molly at Classroom Confections for her "My Personal Side" linky.

This linky is all about your favorite cup and what's in it. I'm trying to drink more water, but I honestly don't love it. So my favorite cups are the ones that have fruit infusers. My go-to is this water bottle with lemons in the infuser. Sometimes I also add strawberries, blueberries, limes, or raspberries. 
My students always thought this was so funny when I brought it to school. I got lots of questions why I had lemons in my water. I explained that I liked the taste better. One day I put lemons and blueberries in the infuser and my students were completely confused because they thought the blueberries were olives. They thought I was pretty crazy. No worries though, I stick to fruit!

So what's your favorite cup? Check out what other bloggers are saying here!