Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Finally a Real TpT-er!

Is TpT-er a word? Anyways, I finally posted a product on TpT for purchase! When I opened my store a few months ago, I posted a few things that were free but now I have stuff for sale (okay, 1 thing)! Go check out my store to download a set of weekly spelling activities with a winter theme. I hope it's useful!

Also, I'm at 47 followers - yay! Only 3 more till I post a giveaway. We're so close! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunshine and an (almost) Giveaway!

I'm walkin on sunshine...oooo ooo! I'm so excited for my first blog award ever! Ever! (yeah, I'm that excited!) A big thank you to the wonderful Meghan over at Inside the Classroom for awarding me with the Sunshine Award. It definitely brightened my day :)
The Sunshine Award rules are
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

* Favorite Color? polka-dot! Not a color? Ok, ok, pink and green
* Favorite Animal? gorillas
* Favorite Number? 14
* Favorite Drink? Jumpin Monkey from Dave's Coffee
* Facebook or Twitter? both (how do I get any work done?)
* Your Passion? teaching of course
* Giving or Getting Presents? I love picking out the perfect gift for someone! (and I don't really like to be the center of attention)
* Favorite day? 4th of July
* Favorite flowers? Gerber Daisys

Ok, now the hard part. I'm going to send the Sunshine Award over to some wonderful bloggers, but there's so many good ones to choose from!

Be sure to check out all those wonderful blogs that keep me inspired and motivated!

And since I'm on cloud nine from my Sunshine Award, I am proposing a giveaway. I'm t-h-i-s close to 50 followers. Once I hit the big 5-0, I'll post a giveaway! Remember, Christmas (or buy-something-for-yourself-day) is coming!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Calling all followers...

Holly over at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade (love that name!) is having her first giveaway! She hit 100 followers and is giving away a $20 giftcard to anywhere, really, it's your choice! A big congrats to Holly.

Which brings me to my next order of business. How do I do that?!?! I was doing great and I hit 40 followers - so excited! Then I plateaued a bit. What can I do to increase my followers? Freebies? Giveaways? Any ideas would be great!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Thankful!

I am so excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow! While I wait, I thought I'd join the linky parties at What the Teacher Wants and Oh Boy Fourth Grade to share what I am most thankful for this year!

1. What are you thankful for in your classroom?
In my classroom I am most thankful for my wonderful, wonderful, wonderful students! Can I just tell you a story? I had to be out of school last Wednesday and when I returned on Thursday, I had the most amazing sub note a teacher could ever ask for. The sub wrote that my students followed ALL the directions given and that they followed the routine so well, she didn't even need to be there (yes, these are 7-year olds!). She went on to say how respectful they were and how they helped each other out without being asked. I was on cloud nine and I let my students know how proud I was! The note is still sitting on my desk and I'm pretty sure I might frame it.

2. What person are you most thankful for?
Singular??? I am so thankful for every single person in my life! My new hubby definitely takes the number one spot. We've been together for 6 years and I can't imagine my life without him. He is so supportive of me and just makes me smile all the time. My mom told me yesterday that he is very good at balancing me out and that my personality has relaxed so much since I've been with him. :)

My siblings would definitely take spot number two. This picture just explains it all (or nothing at all!)

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?

My new favorite definitely feeds my OCD/organization fever! I think Tiffany and I were separated at birth, seriously. (and she has a polka dot background on her blog!)

Even before I got into blogging, I would check out Christina's website and blog for awesome classroom ideas.

And my inspiration to blog came from Courtney. So many great ideas for second grade!

4. What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for?
Hmm...I'd have to say the show Friends! I'm so thankful that it is on every day and that I have my dvr to capture it since it's on before I get home. It completely fills my dvr (and drives my husband crazy) and I get to watch it when I'm doing all my schoolwork. I can recite every single line from every episode but it still cracks me up!

Oh! I almost forgot to add my newest guilty pleasure - Pintrest of course! I am getting sooo many awesome ideas for my classroom and (future) house.

5. What are you most thankful for?
I am incredibly thankful that I am healthy, happy and surrounded by positive, loving people!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Little Less Conversation

Ok, well not a little less conversation, just a little less speaking. I'm going to start using ASL in my classroom and I'm soo excited! I've always wanted to learn sign language, ever since I was in high school. However, neither my high school nor my college offered a course in it.

My resource teacher (and one of my closest friends) used ASL every once in a while with some of our students with more severe special needs. Without thinking, she would try to talk to me (so that the kids couldn't understand) but I had no idea what she was saying! I wanted so badly to use it in my classroom.

We finally found a class that was being offered and are now in our 4th week of classes. I'm picking up on it wayy faster than I thought I would! We've learned the basics - alphabet, verbs, family members, and greetings.

I've decided that this week, I'm going to introduce some of the greetings to my kids during morning meeting. Every day, we do a morning greeting in our circle. This week we are going to greet each other in sign language - I can't wait to see how my kiddos do with it! I'm also hoping to use more signs throughout the day in an effort to create a friendlier classroom environment.

Here is a website that shows basic ASL signs if anyone wants to check it out!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This post is brought to you by Target

Ok, so Target is my favorite store EVER. I go through withdrawals if I'm not there once a week. I actually do most of my grocery shopping there (not meat or produce), which my mother thinks is crazy. It's so much cheaper though!

Here are some items in my classroom that were purchased at my favorite store(these were taken on my way out the door yesterday with my phone, so the quality isn't great!):

I use these small, but durable, bins for my word study activities. I have small and long ones. They come in all sizes and shapes!

I got these fun pointers in the dollar section during Back to School sales. My students love to use them and they like having a choice of which one to use.

This is another dollar section find from Back to School. On this side, it is a white board and a pocket chart. The other side (which I don't have a picture of - sorry!) is a full pocket chart. I haven't started using it yet, but I think this will also be part of my word study.
These are my favorite! I have a bunch of tins, again from the dollar section! They have different ones for every season! I kept buying them because I liked all the different designs - now I have too many! I use these ones for my sharpened/unsharpened pencils and crayons.

These bins came from...wait for it....the dollar section! I use them for my Reader's Workshop station to store headphones, books, books on tape, etc. They're so light and brightly colored!

I love, love, love the colors on this clock! I use it for when my students sign out to use the bathroom in our log. Our classroom clock is ALWAYS wrong so it wasn't worth it for them to use that. This makes bathroom trips much quicker!

Lastly, most of the book bins in my library are from Target. They are a little more expensive, depending on the size, but are much more durable than my dollar store/Christmas Tree Shop finds. They were selling different colors during different seasons (I told you I go a lot!) and then the baskets would go on clearance at the end of the season, but I haven't seen as many lately.

Ok, so the reason that I posted about Target is because two great blogs are having Target giftcard giveaways! It's like a dream come true for me! Check out Lisa's blog over at Live, Laugh and Love to Learn to enter to win. If she gets 25 followers (she's so close at 22!), she will up the giftcard amount! But go quickly because her giveaway ends today!

Also, Hilary over at Rockin Teacher Materials is giving away a Target giftcard. Hop on over!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oh, How Pinteresting...

Warning: This post is not teacher-related. (but that's ok, right?)

Sooo, I'm seriously addicted to Pinterest. So many good ideas!

Yep. This is me.
Totally taking this picture when I have my own child.

I could spend all day (weekend?) here.

How amazingly cool are these stairs?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anchor Charts

Here are some of the anchor charts I've created in my classroom so far this year. I stink at drawing my own anchor charts ( I may have mentioned that once...or twice...). I make mine on the computer. See my post here on how I make them.

This is our anchor chart for Monitoring for Meaning. We talked about different strategies to help us figure out a word we don't know.

This is from our Launching Reader's Workshop unit. We discussed what good readers do during Reader's Workshop. This is my favorite chart!
Also, during Launching we discussed how to take care of our class library (especially since it's my favorite part of the room!). My kids are actually reallyyy good about using the library this year - so proud of them!

Here's some Writing Anchor Charts:

This one I've really stressed this year. It drives me craaazzyy when my students come up to me and say "I'm done!" So this is an idea from Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Writer's Workshop. I almost never hear those dreaded words anymore!

Every Friday, my students write a letter to their parents in their Friday Journals. Read more about them here. I was noticing that my students kept forgetting the date, greeting, and/or the closing on their letter. I created this poster as an example/reminder for them.
Finally, we are participating in a district-wide initiative to improve our writing scores. We are all using a tool called RAiSE. I'll share more on that another time.


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