Friday, August 2, 2013

Really?!!?? It's currently August? Eeek!

Ohmygosh....It's August y'all.  I keep checking the date on my phone, because I'm in denial.  I can't believe how fast the summer has gone by!  I'm not ready for the back to school crazies; I'm still soaking in the summer funsies.  Today I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's currently and with Jess from I {heart} Recess for my B2S goals.  So many of you are ready for school, but I haven't even started.  Eeek!  Hopefully these two linkies will help get my ideas flowing and get my tookis in gear! 

I'm officially allowed to get in my room on Monday.  I am gonna swim, shop, and sleep late for three more days...then I'm totally gettin' to work!  Promise! ;)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky: Advice for New Teachers Edition

Hey y' I'm linking up for the Let's Get Acquainted party hosted by Latoya from Flying into First Grade.  It's my first time joining this linky, and I am  excited but waaaay tardy to the party.  Whoops!  But, here we go anyway with my advice for new teachers.  :)  I thought hard about things I have learned these last seven years.  Some of them may seem like common sense, but I know that these lessons are things that I still think about...still remind myself of.  I hope they help you too!


#1 Buy

Buy chocolate! Or nuts, or gum, or beef jerky...what I mean is buy yourself a snack that is your go to pick-me-up.  For me it's Russell Stover sugar-free chocolates.  Teaching is hard, and draining in every possible way...especially if it is your first year.  You will have moments where you think you can't keep the pace up.  When that happens...sit down, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and then eat your snack of choice.  This will give your brain the oxygen and glucose it needs to keep going.  :)

#2 Always

Always start fresh!  What I mean by that comes from my favorite quote.  It's from Anne of Green Gables.  It says, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."  I'd like to say everyday will be sunshine and roses, but that is simply not the case.  You are going to mess up.  Sometimes a lesson bombs.  Sometimes that student gets the better of you.  Sometimes you will forget to make the copies you need.  It WILL happen.  It happens to everyone.  Forgive yourself, and start fresh the following day.  Kids are remarkably resilient and forgiving.  It's easier the younger they are, but all kids I know want to enjoy you and your classroom.  So, start fresh and do better.  Sometimes that is what gets me through an afternoon or evening after a rough day.  Tomorrow is going to be a brand new chance to do a better job.

#3 Never

Never assume!  I know it sounds cliché, but when you are new to teaching or new to a grade level you just don't always know what kids come to school with.  Don't assume they know what a word means, that they've had an experience, that they've slept well the night before, or that they had dinner or breakfast at home.  Some families are beyond blessed to give their children more than they need.  They read tons of books, they hear lots of language, they go on vacations, have conversations, spend time with different cultures...and on and on.  Then there are other children who are not as blessed.  Enter the 10-year-old whose never tasted an ice cream sundae, or a 6-year-old who doesn't know the word sandwich and calls grapes purple berries.  (Seriously, they were both my students.)  I have had a few student teachers, and all of them have been surprised at what the kids were/were not familiar with.  Even though I try hard not to be, even I am caught off guard from time-to-time.  Also, don't assume that those kids with limited experiences are to be pitied.  Sometimes they have other blessings.  They might have extended families living with them showering them with love.  They might have more responsibilities at home which is preparing them to be awesome grown ups.  You just never know.   

#4 Find

Find a stopping point!  There is ALWAYS more to be done.  And if you are the kind of teacher who is here reading these blogs, you will probably also be the kind of teacher adding tons of ideas to your to-do list.  :)  I used to work, and work, and work.  I NEVER, I repeat, NEVER finished.  hahaha...kinda of funny, I know.  You must stop at some point and go home, go to happy hour, go exercise, go to the movies, whatever.  Just will be waiting for you when you come back.   

#5 Make

Make emergency plans!  I know you think you will always have time to make those perfect sub plans if you are going to be out. might.  I can tell you that I have taught for seven years, and I have never needed my emergency plans.  That's okay.  I still have them, because in those seven years, I have had A LOT of coworkers who were not prepared.  That leaves your team in rough place.  They have to figure out how to get plans and copies ready for your sub while managing their own class duties.  It is NOT fun for them.  Soooooo...make emergency plans.  Please.  Your team will be ever grateful.  It's okay if it's just busy work.  It is only for a day.  Your class will be OK!

#6 Be

Be prepared!  Your teaching will be different on the days you prepare thoroughly.  Winging it is not a good option.  I'm not saying you'll never do it, but it should not be your go to model.  If you are prepared everything about your day is better...including your students behavior and your mood.  I promise!  But if you aren't prepared one day, don't forget #2.  :)  Tomorrow is a new day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I'm Lovin' This Wednesday

It's time to link up with Jessica at Covered in Glitter and Glue for another WILW post!  I heart this so much. 

This week I am loving me some of this song...who's with me?

I am loving that we cleaned the apartment today.  It helped that the above song came on while we were cleaning.  It feels like a breath of fresh air to be in a clean space again.  #sorrywearentfancier #ignorethattubofbooksandgamesfromschoolinmylivingroom  :)

I am loving this old-school board game that my sweet girl discovered at my mom's house.  We have been playing it over and over again.

I am loving these shows.  Ohmygosh...I can't get enough.  What about y'all?  Are you watching?   (Also, I might have a little crush on Howard from BB.)

I am loving this cutie dry erase weekly to do list decal from the Target dollar spot.  We stuck it up on the side of the fridge for menu planning.  My daughter loves to write down what we are having for lunch during the school year, and check off the items as she makes our lunches.  (Yes, she makes our lunches most of the time.  I know you're jealous.)  :)  This is our simplified summer version.

Last, I am loving this commercial.  (And I usually hate commercials.)  What what!!!  Hump Day!!!  (You read that in the camel voice right?)  Oh.My.Gosh....I just died of laughter.

And that's what I'm loving this Wednesday...I'm hitting post.  It's 11:58  Whew...still Wednesday...I made it!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Today I am so excited to be linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for the What I'm Loving Wednesday Linky.  When I went to the Eric Jensen conference a few years ago, he talked about how he thinks optimism is learned.  This was a revelation for me, because I tend to worry about everything and lean on the negative side.  One of the best ways we can become more positive and optimistic people is to reflect on the things that we are thankful for, things we are looking forward to, basically things we love.  This linky is perfect for that!

1. Today, I am loving my new computer.  I posted about it the other night, but I am just so happy that I can blog, create, plan, etc. at home!  It is making such a difference, and it is still summer.  I can only imagine how I'll feel about it once school has started and I'm planning lessons, entering grades, and creating new products all at once. 

2. I am loving this scarf that my daughter is knitting.  She is taking a knitting class every afternoon this week.  (I might be loving that 2 1/2 hours of uninterrupted shopping/reading/web-browsing time too.)  She is picking it up pretty quickly, and learning her knit and purl stitches.  Now,  I just gotta get her to teach me how to switch back and forth.  :)

 3. I am loving that I FINALLY got a handle on this disaster:
I know, I know...what the heck is all that?  This was all my wrapping paper, tissue paper, bows, ribbons, boxes, gift bags, etc.  It used to live in that giant plastic Dillards bag in the background.  Sad, I know, but true.  Now I bought a cutie patootie container from Marshall's, and it looks like this:
A.Ma.Zing.  Am I right?  I'm totally getting another one of those containers to tame the trunk of my car of all its travel games, reusable shopping bags, flashlight, etc.  :)

4. I am loving my old letter press block letters that spell TEACH.  Aren't they precious?  It's my new Facebook cover photo.  Swoon...

5. Last I am loving this set of digital papers that I created yesterday.  They contain several of my favorite elements in one: monochromatic, textured, and polka dotted.  I'm in love.  Now, it is my first attempt at making digital papers, so I am offering them for free in my TpT store.  You heard me...they are FREE!  10 12x12 digital backgrounds for personal or commercial use.  I am just asking for you to try them out and please, please, please provide me with feedback, so I can see if I need to tweak my process at all before I put up more sets of papers.  I hope you love them as much as I do.  Just click on the picture below to download. 

I can't wait to read all about the things people are loving this week.  You can read more What I'm Loving Wednesday posts too...just click on the icon at the top of this post!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Such an Honor to be Nomintated!

Wow!  I am SOOOOO excited.  Cindy from Mrs. Price's Kindergatgors has nominated my little 'ol blog for the Liebster Award.  
What is a Liebster Award you might ask?  Well, basically it's an honorary award given to blogs with less than 200 followers by other people in the blogging community.  If you are nominated, then you tell a little bit about yourself, and then you nominate other new bloggers who you enjoy.  Isn't that cool.  It's a little bit like a chain letter and a little bit like the Screen Actor's Guild awards.  Actors always say they like being nominated for those just as much as Oscars or Emmys because they are nominated by their peers, and that means so much more.  Well, that's just what this is...other bloggers telling you they think you are interesting and worthy.  Who wouldn't love that? 
To accept the nomination I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them


First, I nominate the following bloggers for the awesome contributions to this community!  You ladies can find your questions at the bottom of this post. 
Cindy's questions for me:
1. What is your favorite grade to teach?  Well, I have taught first grade and fifth grade, and I am always asked which I like better.  I really can't answer that, because they are both so different.  They are both wonderful in their own special way.
2. What is your favorite time of year and why?  Definitely fall.  I love when the weather is cool to cold, although it doesn't get very cold in Texas.  I love the smells of fall the most....cinnamon, pumpkin, caramel.  Bath and Body Works is going to have to beat me away with a stick come September.  LOL
3. What was your favorite trip you have ever taken?  That is a hard one.  Probably the first time I went to Washington DC.  It was 5 years ago, when my daughter was 7.  My best friend from college had just moved there, and I had always wanted to go there.  She invited us to come and stay with her during that summer after my mom offered to buy us plane tickets.  We stayed for 3 weeks, and saw the fireworks over the Washington Monument on the 4th of July.  It was magical, and it reconnected me with one of my most favorite people in the world.  Also, there are so many amazing things to do and see that are free.  Great for a teacher!
4. What was the last conference you attended?  It was Eric Jensen's Teaching with Poverty in Mind.  I went with my principal, asst. principal, and about 5 other teachers from my school.  It was great, and I use the concepts about how the brain functions in my personal and professional life.
5. What was the last book you read?  I am currently reading like 5 different books.  I can't remember the last one I finished, sadly, but the ones I am reading now are: The Life of Pi, 11/22/63, The End of Molasses Classes, The Next Best Thing, and The Great Santini.  Talk about a strange variety, but there you have it.  :)
6. How do you relax during the school year?  I love to cook and bake.  The smell of garlic and onions or a baking pie always makes me happy. 
7. How long have you been blogging?  Just under a year. 
8. Where did you go to college?  I went to the University of Texas at Austin.
9. What is your favorite product off of Teachers Pay Teachers?  Probably my Magic E Read and Write the Room.  It really isn't that fancy, but when you print it out on colored paper, it turns out so cute.  It doesn't take a lot of ink, and reading the room is my firsties favorite thing to do...hands down!
10. Do you use a smart board in your classroom?  No.  Our school has two smart boards for all of us to share, and when you want to check it out, you have to roll in down and find room for it to go.  It takes a lot of floor space. :(  But, we did decide to set one up in the science lab last year, and we could go in there to use it.  That was a good option. 

11 Random facts about me:
1. I love macaroni and cheese...could eat it everyday.
2. I am a huge Spurs fan.  I <3 Tim Duncan. 
3. I could watch old episodes of Three's Company all day.
4. I love to swim.
5. I don't have a favorite color.
6. I love to teach science.
7. If I could wear jeans and flip flops every day of my life, I probably would.
8. I HATE hot weather...and I live in Texas.  Not a good combo.  :)  But, I do love Texas.
9. My favorite place to be is on the beach at sunrise and sunset.
10. I would love to visit Europe.
11. I love, love, love Harry Potter.

Alright, here are the questions for my nominees:
1. Where did you go to college?
2. What is the last movie you saw?
3. What is your favorite product on Teachers Pay Teachers?
4. What is the hardest thing about teaching?
5. What are your hobbies?
6. Are you an indoor person or an outdoor person?
7. What is your favorite holiday?
8. What is something you want to make for your classroom this year?
9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
10. Do you cook?  If so, what is your favorite recipe?
11. What is your favorite place to shop?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New Computer and Blog Design...Yippee Skippee!!!

Yahoo!!!! I am so excited, y'all. I FINALLY got a new computer. My old computer died several years ago, and I have just been making due. That means it was impossible to blog and still get home in time to watch Dancing With the Stars cook dinner.  Now I can do it at home. While sitting on the couch.  With a glass of wine.  ahhhhh...I can see it now!

After many agonizing web searches and trips to Best Buy (spending that much money scares me), I finally picked out a laptop.  Here she is in all her glory!  (Sorry for the dark picture...I just took it at 3:00 am with my phone.)  I just hope she last a good long time, and can handle all the clip art and fonts that I am about to throw her way.  #clipartandfontobsessed

First things first.  To add to all of this excitement, I used Photoshop, more-than-I-can-even-count Google searches, and web/video tutorials to create my new blog design.  It has been a struggle...that little grab my button gadget just about did me in, let me tell you.  I know it's not perfect, and I will probably tweak some things here and there, but I am so proud.  My little ol' blog is lookin' all dolled up.  :) I also created a Facebook for my blog.  It only has a profile and cover photo so far, but a girl can only do so much in two days.  I would love to hear what you think about the new design even if it's your first time stopping by.  And if it is your first time, don't forget to follow me.  You can find links to follow me in the sidebar.

Now, time for bed.  You heard the part about it being 3:00 am right?  I promise I will start getting back on the blogging and creating bandwagon once I've had some sleep!   

Monday, May 27, 2013

Father's Day Breakfast

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope that everyone is have a blessed and safe weekend.  I am at school getting ready for tomorrow tie-dying extravaganza and for our Father's Day breakfast.  I had the moms come in for breakfast a couple of weeks ago, and I was thrilled to find Jodi's (from Fun in First) conversation starters from to put on the table that morning.  If you didn't find them, click here and save them for next year!  They were awesome.  I decided to remake them for the Father's Day breakfast tomorrow, because the kids and parents loved them so much.  Hopefully some of you will find them just as useful as I found the Mother's Day version to be!  You just cut the questions out and put them inside a paper sack.  Then you make the Dad, I mustache you a question tags and glue them to the outside of the sack.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

My breakfast celebration is short and sweet.  We already eat breakfast in the classroom each morning, so I just buy some yummy breakfast goods like donuts and kolaches and the dads can come and go during our regular breakfast time.  They sit and eat with their kiddo and this year they will be able to use the fabulous conversation starters while they eat.  We also made a little picture last week to give to them.  I took pictures of all the kids, and then glued them to cardboard rectangles.  The kids did Q-tip painting for Q day around the pictures, and then they glued on some rocks that I bought at Wal-Mart.  On the back we glued a small paper that says Dad, you rock!  They turned out really cute, and they were super easy. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My *I-wish-it-were-Budding* Blog :)

I love this linky idea.  I follow a lot of blogs, but I know there are sooo many more.  Great way to see new blogs that are just starting out that we might not have run across yet. I'm not sure my blog could be classified as budding, because I have no followers yet.  So, I'm calling it my I-wish-it-were-budding blog.  :)  Maybe one of you will be inspired to become my first follower...who knows?  Then click on the picture below to find other budding bloggers. 

1. Why did you start blogging?
I read a lot of blogs for a lot of years, and I loved all the collaboration and ideas that they provided.  So many times over the years that I have been teaching I have made something, and people have said that it is great and that I should share it.  I just never had faith that it was something worth was just something I whipped up for my fifths or my firsties.  But as I was reading all of the other blogs I realized that is what these people are doing.  They are just sharing what they are already creating for their classrooms, and it has been so helpful for me.  I decided that maybe I could offer up my own experiences as well, and that someone else might find it helpful too.

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
My favorite subject to teach is definitely science.  There is so much interesting content there, and it is ALWAYS engaging for kids.  It's never hard to convince them that science is fun to learn.  I love all that information and all of that enthusiasm.  Some of my science favorites for firsties are plants and life cycles.  Some of my science favorites in fifth grade were energy and earth science.  I <3 SCIENCE!  Reading is for sure a close second, because I have always love to read.  It's easy to teach something you naturally love, because the kids feel your excitement and it spreads to them. 

3. Describe your teaching style.
I am VERY structured with super high expectations.  I feel like it is my job to push all kids to their highest potential intellectually and behaviorally.  I also try hard to give them experiences that they have never had.  For example when I used to teach 5th graders, we would carve pumpkins in October.  It's such a little thing, but I can not tell you how many of my students told me that it was so fun and that they had never done it before.  I play all kinds of music from around the world, and I try to read books they might not choose for themselves.  I want them to leave my class smarter, more autonomous, and better behaved.  I hope they remember that I loved them fiercely, and that I always, always, always pushed them to do their best.   

4. Give three interesting facts about you.
1~ I have a daughter. She is the love of my life. *BUT*...she is in middle school. I will happily accept all prayers you have for these next few years.  I know you feel me on this one.
Here is a picture of us before and after the color run earlier this month.

2~ I love to cook and bake. I'm trying to lose weight, so I have been holding off on the baking this past year. I made the mistake of buying s'mores fixins though, and I keep making them in my toaster oven. BAD idea!! 

3~ My favorite quote is "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."  It is a line from Anne of Green Gables.  It has gotten me through some very bad days.  I have to remind myself that no matter what, I can always try better and harder tomorrow.  Tomorrow is ALWAYS a new opportunity to be a better human being, and that I should treat it with forgiveness for others AND for myself.

5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)
I do.  It is small aka budding.  :)  I'd love for you to visit it and follow it, as it is sure to grow!

Thanks for reading about my little 'ol blog.  I'd love to hear from you anytime!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Roll 3 and Add Freebie...Also Known as, "Quick! I need another math tub!"

Hey there, bloggerland.  I am getting myself ready to reteach and reassess math skills before our final report card, and I needed one more thing for my math tubs this week.  I needed something quick and easy, but still useful and fun.  Along with Braille playing card cards I also have some Braille dice for my student who is blind.  So I made this very quick and simple Roll 3 and Add game for my firsties.  Feel free to click on either of the pictures if you can use it too.  Of course it will be extra awesome, because most of the students will be using the giant foam dice... they just love those things.  Don't you love how first graders are easy to please sometimes.  ;)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Freebies, Lapbooks, and Math Tubs..oh my!

Yay for getting my act together for two weeks in a row!!!  Also...a super yay/ holla that there are only 12 days of school left.  Which is exciting in and of itself, but that also meant my favorite day for our A-Z countdown: N for Nachos!!!! 

Another Five for Friday, which is seriously the perfect way to sum up the week.  Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching! 
Here we go:
1. Finally set myself up with an Instagram.  I'm so excited, because I love my personal Instagram, and I know this one is going to make it hard to pry myself away from my phone!  Can't wait to hashtag all my firstie fun.  #hashtaggingiscool @FirstGradeWolves
2. We have been all about the lapbooks this week.  I found a picture on Pinterest of one for Thomas Edison.  It was for upper grades, but it only showed the front cover.  I decided to make one for my firsties that used content aligned with our district curriculum.  If you want any of the sheets from that lapbook, you can click on the picture below to download. 

Then we also made a lapbook for the book Mouse Soup.  We read a little bit each day, and we did a different activity after each lesson.  I used the I-Can summarize from the Guided Reading Flip Flap Books by Simply Skilled in Second.  I love all the flip-flap books in this should really pick it up.  I made the pocket full of predictions modeled after her pocket full of Author's Purpose, because I really wanted my kiddos who were about to do the higher level DRA soon to practice making quality predictions using the words might or maybe.  If you want a copy of the pocket full of predictions click on the picture below to download a copy. 

3. We are learning all about the suffixes er and est.  This amazing packet from The Teacher Wife is what I bought to use for this, and my students love it.  They especially like the spinner bingo game, and they actually cheered when I said I would keep it in centers next week.    Thank you, Lindsey!  You guys should all buy this thing.  Who doesn't love phonics games mixed with superheros!?1?

4. In DRA-LPAC prep-math assessment-desperation mode, I made this quick little worksheet for my kids to practice using their balances and using the weight vocabulary while I was busy testing.  They loved it!  You can click on the picture below to download a copy for yourself.  (Don't worry, I went back and added a border before uploading it to Google Drive once I was less frantic.)   :)
 5. In my last post, I talked about the fact that I have a *relatively* new student who is legally blind.  Which meant that all those cute match and record card games I had been using for math tubs from all of you fabulous bloggers just weren't going to work, unless or until I learned how to adapt them for her.  I found out right away that they had playing cards in Braille, and I got straight to work making some review math tubs that used nothing but a deck of cards, paper, and a few plastic bags to hold them all.  Also,  yay for the Dollar Tree with their 2 decks for a dollar!  There are six math tubs.  One is place value with two-digit number, word form, expanded notation, and a model.  There is a fact family tub, a counting on tub, a subtraction tub, a parts of a set tub, and a certain or impossible tub.  They are really easy to prep and use.  My kids really enjoyed using them for several weeks and my newest student got to be totally involved as well.  It was awesome!  Sadly, I was so frazzled that I forgot to take pictures of them in use.  :(   Ah well...there's always next time.  If you want to buy these math activities, they are for sale in my TpT shop.  You can click on the picture below to purchase.
 And an unofficial daughter and I got this movie from the redbox last night, and it was sooooo good.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.  Tons of laughs and a tearjerker too!
Have a wonderful weekend! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five for Friday...Finally!

I haven't blogged in a month.  Epic.Failure.  :(  I had been doing so well, and I need/want to create and blog, but it has just been so darn busy.  About a month ago, I got a student who is legally blind.  She is a sweetheart, but the planning has gotten so much harder.  I had to do about 3 weeks worth of plans in a matter of 5 days, and ever since then I have to stay a week and a half ahead at the least.  Y'all....let me tell you.  I just don't work well this way.  Some people would love it...being ahead and knowing what's coming up...for me, um no.  I can't keep straight what I'm supposed to be doing anymore.  Am I teaching long i or suffixes?  Am I teaching inherited traits or life cycles?  Are there two weeks of school left or four?  Is it April or May? day I thought it was almost May, and my daughter was like, "No it's not.  It's only April 6th."  Ha!  I feel like I'm going a little bit kooky.  Anywho...Hallelujah!  Finally a post.  And it's a Five for Friday to boot! 
1.) I have been wanting to make some awards that are hornet themed for my sweet firsties, because our school mascot is the hornet.  They would work great for bee or bumblebee too though.  I finally had time to sit down and finish them!  Yippee!  You can click on the picture below to go to my TpT store if you need some bee or hornet themed awards too!

2.) We are doing an ABC countdown like so many others.  Today we had Ice Cubes gum for I day...seriously one of the easiest things I have ever done.  And, the kids thought I was a rock star for it.  Gotta love that!  Also, we had H day, which meant crazy hair.  Here's mine...a little rainbow ponytail action.  :)

3.) We have been learning about the three Rs ever since Earth Day, and so we decided to put the reuse idea into action for our Mother's Day present.  I took pictures of all the kiddos, and then we used some old cardboard and a puzzle that was missing pieces to make a picture frame.  On the back we glued a page that says: Mom, I love you to pieces!  They loved making these, and we got our science lesson in there too.  Bonus!  I'm going to add a little ribbon for hanging, and then we will present them to our moms on our Monday breakfast celebration.  :)

4.) I finally made the glue sponge containers from Pinterest.  I can't for the life of me find the original pin that I saw it on, but can I just say enough....LIFE CHANGING.  I'm not joking.  I spend a small fortune on glue sticks each year.  Not anymore...these things are my new favorite invention.  Thank you to the smartie genius that invented these things.  It looks like there's no glue in there, but that's because the sponge has soaked it all up.  I poured about half a bottle of Elmer's into the containers I found at dollar tree, and then I just popped in a sponge from WalMart.  They have been sitting on my shelf for about two weeks just soaking up the glue.  I finally got them out to try them (see above, about trying to keep my head above water), and me and my students are in love.

5.) Last, but definitely not least, I am officially done being this year's yearbook coordinator.  The books have come in, and I have gone through my spreadsheet and sorted/labeled them to hand out on Monday.  Praise the Lord...I did it!  Yahoo!!!!  (These in the picture are just some of the yearbooks BTW.)

 Now then...a blog post and the yearbooks are done.  A girl's gotta get out of here and celebrate.  Where's my margarita!?!? ;)

Friday, March 29, 2013

100's Chart Mystery Pictures for Spring!

I am feeling so thankful for this three day weekend.  I don't know about you guys, but it's getting into that home-stretch time of year.  Each week is a week closer to summer, and each weekend is a much needed breath of fresh air.  Today, I got to wake up at my leisure...which still happened to be at 5:30.  Crazy, I know, but it included a lazy cup of coffee and time to watch my DVRed shows that I've been too tired for in the evenings all while starting on the overflowing laundry basket.  Then I got to take my sweet girl out for brunch and shopping for a new backpack.  Check out this delicious meal: chicken verde omelette and a short stack of is cranberry orange walnut and one is gingerbread.  If you live in or around Austin, I highly recommend these from Kerby Lane Cafe!

 After finding a backpack that my sweet 6th grader deemed cool enough, she helped me finish up my 100s chart mystery pictures.  I always show her the final products to see if she can tell what they are without asking, and if she thinks they need to be tweaked at all before I put them on sale.  So, without further they are!  Hannah approved!  You can buy them here in my TpT store.  I know what my kids are going to do for morning work on Monday!  :) 

 I hope you all are having a blessed and restful Easter weekend! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring has Sprung...Pictures and a Craftivity!

So, today my students were using all of the plastic egg activities that I talked about in my last blog post, and they were all having so much fun.  Well, all of them except that one student who was busy trying to wipe off the marker from the egg.  I know you know who that is, cause you have a student just like it.  ;)  Anyway, I had to share a couple of pictures with you guys of the math tub activities.  The first two are how I store my math tubs each week (except they are not usually in Easter baskets of course), and then the other pictures are the tubs in action.


If you want to buy these activities from TpT store to use this week or the week after Easter, click here.  :)

This week we are also working on our Spring Chick Craftivity in my follow directions center.  Because we don't have time to spend during the day devoted to just doing a craft with the kiddos, then we incorporate them into the read and follow directions center.  One of our student expectations is that they are able to read and follow written directions with picture clues, so this fits right in.  Here is a picture of how I set that up in my classroom.


Last year, my teaching partner and I wrote up all of these activities, and now I have a cardboard box that was meant for borders that I store all the sentence strips in and a file folder crate with hanging files that I store the examples and hard copies in.  It is a beautiful thing having them done for every week of the year, let me tell you.  I have made two or three new ones this year, but for the most part, this is one center that I praise the Lord for that I don't have to think too hard about.  Whew!!!!  Plus the kids get to spend time coloring, cutting, gluing, creating, etc....all the stuff they need and love to do. 

The science and writing portions of the activity will be done in the writing center or during science or writing instruction time.  This packet comes with colored and black-and-white versions of a chicken's life cycle and an organizer to order them.  It comes with a planning page for writing about the three stages.  It has a half-sheet and a whole-sheet publishing page to write about the stages of the life cycle.  Then it has the templates for creating the Spring Chick to go with their writing.  This is perfect for Easter time or for spring time when most curriculums cover life science.  If you were doing it away from Easter time, they could just make the shells of the egg white or brown.   I just have them make it more festive in honor of the holiday.  :)  Click on the preview below to purchase your copy of this craftivity in my TpT store, and please comment if you have any questions or feedback.  Enjoy!