Saturday, March 31, 2012

Big Purchase!

My husband and I bought a house yesterday!  This is our first home so we are so excited!

Last night was our first dinner in our house - pizza on the floor!

We have lots of cleaning and packing and moving to do.  It's going to be a busy month!  Luckily we both come from big families so we have lots of people to help us!

And just a reminder about my BOGO!  Buy any product in {TpT} or {TN} store and you'll receive my brand new healthy foods unit for free!

 Just be sure to leave me a message with your email so I can get it to you right away!  The BOGO ends tonight at midnight.

Happy Saturday

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Bribe...

So here's the deal.  I'm sooooo close to meeting my TpT goal for this quarter.  I want to reach it!  

So I might just have a deal for you!  It's a BOGO, if you will.  (buy one-get one...stay with me here people!)  If you mosey on over to my TpT store before Saturday night and purchase one of my products, you'll get my brand new health unit for free!

All you need to do is purchase one of my products (before Saturday at midnight) and then leave me a note letting me know what you purchased!  It's that easy.  Thanks for your help - I really appreciate it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looky In My Lunchbox!

Looky!  Looky at my lunch!  Okay, my lunch isn't that exciting, but Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics is having a linky party.

Here's my lunchbox:
Honestly?  I hate it.  The style is great - fits all my food perfectly and fits in my schoolbag.  The design is sooo not me at all.  I like bright, pretty colors!  Want  a new one, but if it's not broke, why fix it?

Here's the boring part.  I eat almost the same. thing. every. day.  I strive on consistency!  (And it makes my mornings easy).

Always a Chobani vanilla yogurt.  I put cheerios in it for a little "crunch" - a little healthier than granola.

A Chewy chocolate chip granola bar.

Some type of fruit - usually green apple or grapes.  A clementine in the winter.  And I bring a banana to eat before the gym in the afternoon.

And I love my Camelbak water bottle!  I never leave home without this thing (even on the weekends)!  And these colors?  Totally me!

School starts at 8:45, so we eat lunch at 11:40 every day and we have 20 minutes.   More like 12, I guess, once we get the kids settled and use the bathroom.  That's why I bring yogurt - no time to heat stuff in the microwave!  We do get to eat on our own in the teacher staff room, but twice a week I have recess duty, which means I am even later to lunch (recess is right before lunch).  My husband wonders why I eat dinner so quickly...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Word Wall Games for Free!

Here is a an awful picture of my classroom word wall:

It hangs above my whiteboard at the front of my classroom where all my students can see it.  You can't really tell from the picture, but it has a seashore theme!  The vowels are starfish and the consonants are seashells.  I really like that all the words are in such bright colors as well.  I put it up 2 years ago...and well it just stays's very hard for me to reach those words (even standing on a desk)!

I found this spinner at the Dollar Store a couple years back and we use it to play a word wall game.  We play at snack time because that's when we have some extra time and it keeps them calm (and seated) while they're eating.

I'm not sure if the spinner is available anymore, so I created my own set of (free!) word wall games just for all of you!  It's four different games, in color and BW, for you to play with your students.  Just click on the picture to grab it from my TpT store!

 If you do grab it, I'd love to hear what you think!

Also go visit the Lesson Plan Diva to see how other teachers are using word walls in their classroom.  Feel free to add your own ideas as well!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quick Check-In

I had a whole other title planned for this post, but, well, it wasn't quite appropriate.  Moving on.

I am on my way to bed (how is it Sunday night already??) but I wanted to tell you about my weekend and I have something in store for my readers.

Yesterday I took two of my nephews to see The Addams Family.   I LOVE musicals (Christina Bainbridge, you and I need to hang out!) but I knew nothing about the Addams Family.  Yeah, I've heard of them but I've never seen the show, movie, etc.  I was kinda roped into it by accident, thanks to a mistake by my MIL and I wasn't really that interested.  However, I ended up being pleasantly surprised!  I didn't think the music was great, but it was really funny.  And it probably wasn't the most appropriate show for a 7-year old.  It wasn't my idea to take him though, so you can't blame me!  We did have a great time though.

Today, I got to see The Hunger Games.  I went with some of my family and we had a little mix-up of theaters.  We ended up getting there after the previews started and the only spots left were in the front row. It was definitely an interesting perspective!  I was a little nervous about seeing the movie after reading the book (I always like the book better...ahem Twilight...) but the movie was really well done.  I was impressed!

Now onto you guys.  I leave for Disney in 20 days (yeahhh, I'm not counting) and it's been a stressful couple of months so I definitely won't be doing any schoolwork on this trip.  But I don't want you to miss me too much while I'm gone!  So I was trying to think of some posts I could create ahead of time to share with you while I'm gone.   My classroom!  I haven't really shared many pictures/descriptions of my classroom since I started blogging and I want to show you what this year looks like before I change for next year!  I'm going to start taking pictures this week.  I'm so excited!

There might also be a TpT/TN sale involved as well...stay tuned!

P.S. ~ If you're still reading...this really wasn't a QUICK post, huh?

Friday, March 23, 2012


2 weeks of extra morning duty?  Done!
Short observation?  Done!
Long observation?  Done!
Evaluation meeting?  Done!
Report cards?  Done!
Conferences? Done!

Phew!  So glad the past two weeks are over.  Yep, all of the above happened in just two weeks.  They have been super busy/crazy!  The above list doesn't even include professional development, IEP meetings, faculty meetings, etc.  

I did get the nicest compliment from a parent last night.  My classroom is next door to a 4th grade room (don't ask) and many of my old students are in that class.  At parent-teacher conferences, one of my previous parents stopped me in the hall and asked me if I had my roster for next year yet (yeah, right!).  I nicely responded, no.  She then said, "Well when you get it, let me know.  I really hope my daughter is in your class!"  Aww... it made me feel so good!

I'm also done with my newest product and I'm super-duper excited about it!  I've been working on it and tweaking if for awhile.  I created an organizational calendar for all you busy bloggers and TpT/TN sellers out there!  It has monthly calendar pages as well as pages to take notes, write your stats and set goals.  I'm going to make mine at Staples tomorrow!


I'm sooo close to meeting my TpT goal for this quarter!  Just a few more days - I think I can do it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roll and Spell

First, this is my motto for the next 3 weeks:

My whole family is going to Disney - I'm so excited!  Actually, I'm just excited to have a break.  We haven't had one since Christmas and that was less than a week and half long.  Only 3 1/2 more weeks!!

Meanwhile, in the land of spelling...

I stole borrowed this idea from Deb over at 

It's a game called Roll and Spell.  I was looking for a new activity for my kids for spelling and I stumbled upon her post.  I thought, why not give it a try? kids go crazy for it!  It's the funniest thing.  They get so excited when I tell them that Roll and Spell is the activity for the day and when they have a free choice day, they automatically choose this one.

Deb has three different versions...original, rainbow spell and out loud version.

Rainbow version - they write the words in different colors depending on the number that they roll:

Original version - they write their words in different handwriting (big, small, fancy nancy, etc.)

Their favorite is the out loud one.  They get to spell their words out loud in different voices (alien, baby, opera, etc).  I tried videotaping it, but the rest of the class was too loud and you couldn't hear their voices.

If you are looking for a new spelling activity, go check out Oh My Little Classity Class's site!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Base-10 Blocks

We are doing a psuedo-common core curriculum in math right now.  Basically, my colleague and I are piloting common core...with no materials.  He has been doing most of the creating but I thought I'd make some games to supplement our Place Value unit.

Click on the picture to check it out:

I'm off to start reading The Hunger Games now.  Anyone ever heard of them? ;)  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Help!! And a Huge Thank You!

Help!!!  My "follow" button won't work!  For the past few days, I've found some awesome blogs and I click their follow button.  It appears to work, but it doesn't really.  I'm not added to their followers list and they're not added to my Google Reader!  I really want to follow these blogs!  Sorry, there have been a lot of exclamation points, but has anyone else had this problem?

And I also want to extend a HUGE thank you to all my Teachers Pay Teachers followers!  I decided to upgrade to a Premium Membership the other day.  And, in one week, I've almost doubled the amount of sales that I've made since I started in January!  Amazing - you guys are awesome!  It is so much fun to create products that other teachers can use in their classroom.  Thanks for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share.

I'm in the process of making some great spring resources and there might even be a freebie involved!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hanging out with Jack and Annie

If you don't know Jack and Annie, you are missing out!  They are the main characters of The Magic Tree House series.  This set of books is AWESOME.  They are perfect for my second graders and they are full of imagination and fun facts.  At the beginning of the year, the stories are a little high for my kiddos, but most of them grow into the books as the year progresses.  

To get the students interested in the books, I read one aloud during snack time (this also keeps the kids quiet!).  We read a chapter or two a day.  There is also a bit of mystery wrapped up into the stories so the kids are so eager to hear what is going to happen next.  As we read, we go over science and social studies concepts as well as reading and writing strategies.  They are full of so many "teachable" moments.

Why am I ranting and raving about Magic Tree House, you ask?  I got an email the other day about a new website.  It's called the Classroom Adventures Program.  It is full of supplemental materials to go along with all The Magic Tree House books!  There are lesson plans, information, activities, worksheets and more!  

*I have not been asked to review or promote this website.  I just thought it was too good of a resource to keep to myself!

Sometimes, I feel like my guided reading groups can get kinda boring.  I'm trying to spice them up a little (if you have any good ideas, send them my way)!  I created a mini card game and the kids love it!  It's really very simple.

After we read a story, the students chose a card.  

Then they read the card out loud and answered the question.

Told you it was simple.  I created fiction and non-fiction cards.  Most of the cards can be used with any book, at any level.  They could also be put into a center or used during partner reading.  I'm going to try the partner reading next.

 Check them out!  The packet includes fiction and non-fiction discussion cards.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Winner and Winnee

Not sure if that's a word, but here's the winner:

Congrats!  Check your email for my St. Patrick's Math and Literacy Packet!

And I was a winner over at:

Go check out her awesome site!  She has some really cute stuff in her store too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It WAS a good day!

Okay, so I'm not going to lie.  I was fully prepared to come on here and rant and rave about how stressed out I am (think observations, report cards, conferences, double professional development, faculty meetings).  

BUT then something happened.  Something wonderful in this part of the country at this time of the year.  We hit 70 degrees!  It was gorgeous out today!  And it couldn't have happened during a better week.  As hard as it is to get up in the dark, I love the extra hour of daylight.  It just makes me so much more productive!  And I got to go for a really nice walk this afternoon.

THEN something even nicer happened:

I got my 31 Bag!  I am beyond excited!!  Isn't it just so darn cute?!?  And I got the little pouch to keep inside it with pencils and pens, etc.  I can't wait to go to school tomorrow!!

Working with other teachers (all over the country) has become one of my favorite parts of blogging.  I recently reviewed a product for a fellow blogger.  

Terri, over at

created a Sub Tub.  It's the perfect product for any classroom!  As teachers, we hate to be out of our classroom and, often, it's harder to be out than it is to just come to school sick.  This will ease your worries a bit.  It is everything a substitute needs to know, all in one place!  

Terri includes directions on how to create the actual tub and then she includes all the forms for you to fill out to fit your classroom's needs.  I highly recommend this product.  Check it out at her {TpT Store}!  I am definitely looking forward to making one for my classroom.

Check out the Linky Party over at Kindergarten Lifestyle.  She's calling all K-2 blogs to link up.  Then we'll have a list of all these great blogs in one place!

Lastly, don't forget to enter my giveaway.  You have only 24 more hours!
Enter here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's a Giveaway!

I'm going to giveaway my big St. Patrick's Day unit to one lucky winner!


That's 104 pages of leprechaun-y goodness!

There are four easy ways to enter.  Just follow me in these places:

That's all!  Just leave me one comment for each (with an email).  The giveaway will end at 7:00 EST on Wednesday, March 14th.  

Also, check out Traci Clausen over at

She created all the St. Patrick's Day clipart that I used!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Look! Look!

I may or may not be breaking the "don't-post-twice-in-one-day" rule (shhh...).  But look!  Look to your left.  Keep going.  A little bit more...there!  See it?  Those two little letters.  F and T.  They stand for fantastic and terrific.  Just like me!  Oh, wait.

I just started a Facebook page and a Twitter feed!  I've started following some of you, but let me know if you have either so that I can check you out!  I'm excited to start exploring!

P.S. ~ make sure you check out my last post for another St. Patrick's Day freebie!  

I'm off to fill out my March Madness brackets now.  I came in third last year, out of about 60 guys.  Not too shabby...

Another St. Patrick's Day Freebie!

I have clovers coming out of my ears!  I've been hard at work getting my St. Patrick's Day Unit finished. We've been working on place value and using expanded notation in math class, so I created a Base-10 blocks matching game and a place value version of I Have, Who Has.  There is also two center activities and an addition go fish game.  Lots to do!

Then I decided to combine it with my St. Patrick's Day Literacy Unit...

And create one big unit!

You even get a deal if you grab the larger unit ;)  Click on the pictures to grab them from my TpT store or you can check them out at TN too:

And I created another freebie for you!  Can your students make 17 words out of the word Leprechaun??

Oh! And you have my permission to pin!  (I'm a little behind the ball on that one...)

Check out my boards while you're over there!


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