Monday, July 25, 2016

Back to School Bash!

Hey, friends!  Summer break has been a blast, but it's time to wrap up this week and go back next week...sigh.  haha  But back to school time is really my favorite time of year, so I'm having a celebration!

Every day I'll be posting a new dollar deal and a flash freebie!  Be sure to follow me on facebook or instagram for updates when the new deals are posted.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Easter Eggs for the Win

So, Easter eggs.  Who came up with them?  I don't know, but I love whoever did.  These plastic little toys are the best thing in my classroom each and every spring.  Here's my favorite five ways to use them.

1.  Math Centers

This one is all over Pinterest, but it's really pure genius.  The best part is this one can be used in so many different grade levels and for so many different math skills.  Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division...even using them for ten frames, shape matching, coins, and time - the math possibilities never end.

2.  Behavior Management

This is otherwise known as - my way to rid my classroom of junk after spring cleaning.  So here's how it works.  Throughout the day, I'll find something some of my students are doing well.  Maybe walking in the hallway nicely, doing morning work quietly, etc.  When I see them doing it well, I'll announce that so and so's name is going in the bucket.  Then the rest of their classmates magically start doing what they're supposed to be doing - that positive reinforcement stuff, ya know?  When we have extra time during the day, I'll draw a name from the bucket and that student will get to come open an egg.  Some eggs have erasers inside, others have stickers or candy.  The best ones have a slip that says "Pick a prize."  If students pick this one, they get to choose something out of my magical pile of junk to take home!  Hooray!  So if its old books, posters, behavior charts - whatever - my students always love junk from the classroom to take home.

3.  Sight Words

This one is super simple.  I'll put sight words inside eggs for students to read.  The problem words might get in more that one egg, while the gimme words (like "the" and "and") will definitely only get in one.  Students can go to the eggs during a center and use the Trace, Cover, Write method.  If the word is "was," students say the word, trace it with their finger, cover the word (or turn it over), and write it.  This helps to build those dendrites in the brain that will keep words in their long term memory, which is the ultimate goal of sight words.

4.  Predicting/Inferring

This science skill is something students do naturally, but don't have a name to put with it sometimes.  Since we also read many stories where we have to infer, this is a great activity for integration between reading and science.  Fill those eggs with anything and everything.  From syrup (if you don't mind getting gross), to rice, to coins, to rocks - really anything.  Now, tape those suckers shut and put a number on each.  Students can go around the room to different centers to use their senses to infer.  For this activity, I typically would get the cheap Easter eggs that can be seen through when holding them up to the light.  This allows them to use an extra sense for inferences.  The students can record what they think is inside the egg and give reasons why.  That's some higher order thinking right there. 

5. Creating Words

Put familiar word families on one side of the egg (like -ap, -et, -ig, etc.), and put beginning sounds on the other side.  Students can twist the egg to make new words and record them.  For your higher kiddos?  Add suffixes or prefixes to one side and the base words on the other side.  We're learning about -ful and -ly this week, so these eggs will be perfect!

Happy Easter to all!  Good luck this week!

Friday, January 15, 2016


Sweet mercy!  I haven't posted in (several) months!  I just mainly came here to let you know where I was and what I was up to.  A lot has happened since August that I'll be happy to share with you in the coming months, but today I'm just thankful.

So where have I been?  With my class.  Engaged in their lives through smiles, stories, and huge bear hugs.  The Lord has blessed me with 15 sweet, smiling faces that greet me daily.  I can't tell you just how much they mean to me.  I'm not typically a crier, but tears start to form when I realize they will be leaving me after May.

I got this cookie cake for my kids this week because of their AWESOME midyear test scores.  I've never been so proud of anything in my entire life.  I also got this cookie cake because I love cookie cake and that's sure enough a good excuse for me to get myself a VERY large piece of cookie cake.

Last year was a struggle for many reasons.  I had some classroom issues to deal with and my kids weren't growing like I thought they should, but I was enjoying my blogging and TPT profits.  My weekly goals centered more around "how many products I could get up" and "how/when I should post on my instagram, facebook, or blog to get myself out there" instead of how far I should be taking my students.  This year I realized I had it all wrong.  Teaching isn't about blogging or making products for other teachers to use, it's about being there for your students and letting them see that you love them daily (duh!!).  Now, don't get me wrong.  It's very possible to all of that at once!  There's tons of teachers out there that do it!  Most of them have a family too that they're able to manage, and blogging and TPT really benefits their teaching.  I just haven't mastered all of that yet, and obviously I needed to get my priorities straight.

This year, I haven't created a single TPT product since August (nor have I blogged obviously), and I don't regret it for a second.  For the first time, I can tell that my students really see how much I love them.  Their behavior and academics improve daily, simply because they know I love them and they know I'm proud of them no matter what.  I'm not sure what I've missed the prior two years of teaching with my classes.  I've always loved my students, but I've never had such a bond with them.  It's fabulous, though!  And I could seriously loop with this group of kids through 6th grade if that was realistic.

So don't be ashamed to take a break from TPT.  I realized I loved making resources for my students, but making them perfect for TPT and other teachers consumed my time.  I had set TPT goals for myself, and believe it or not I still made profits.  Did I reach all of my personal financial goals for 2015?  No, sure didn't.  But to me, the relationship I have with my students this year and their success in the classroom is worth more than my weight in gold.

So hopefully I'll be blogging more here in the coming months about the amazing progress being made in my classroom, but if not, you'll know I'm living every glorious moment of bliss with my little ones through May.

Monday, August 31, 2015

You NEED these shirts!

So let me tell you about A+ Images...

They are FABULOUS.  If you are needing shirts for your class, grade, school, or just for you - you should definitely check them out! 

I got this fabulous shirt from them last month:
The quality is perfect, the design is on spot, and I can't tell you how much I love my shirt!  I waited this long to tell you about it, cause I've had my eye on these adorable things:
Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen?  I would LOVE to get my class a set of these this school year!  Now that school has started and things have slowed down a little bit, I have a chance to do the "fun stuff," like look around for cute shirts!  This would definitely be a shirt to treasure for years to come! You can check them out at Classroom Faces.

Just a note about their customer service...  I asked A+ Images for a free blogger shirt design the first week of July.  They informed me that my graphic would be blurry.  They said they would be more than happy to print it if that's how I wanted it, but added that if I could get a better quality image my shirt would look much better.  Well, I tried to get a better quality image and it didn't work out, so I just gave up.  Then, during the last few days of July, I received an email from them saying they had sharpened my image so that it was print quality!  They shipped it just a few days later!  This said so much to me about their company.  Because my shirt was a free blogger shirt, they were losing nothing by letting my image fall into the back of their inbox.  I know they had plenty of orders to do in July, but the fact that they reached back to a free order sent 25 days previously, found my image, and made it print quality says so much to me!  They truly are an amazing company!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

My New School Year's Resolutions

Every year I have goals for myself to accomplish...just like New Year's Resolutions, only for the school year!  So here are the things I'm going to work on this school year - for my students and myself.

1. Show my students love
This sounds like a no-brainer.  Of course we show our students love, right?  We're teachers!  I always love my students, but sometimes I get a little caught up.  Caught up in standards that aren't mastered yet, caught up in the fact that I need to be teaching every minute of every day, caught up in lessons that need to be taught before testing...just caught up.  Sometimes I get so caught up I forget to give that extra hug, pat on the back, or reassuring smile.  It's not that I don't love my students, I just get way too caught up!  So this year, I don't want to make any excuses.  There's never a good enough reason not to show my students the love they need and deserve from me!

2. Fully implement Daily 5
I have been reading the Daily 5 book and it sounds wonderful!

Centers have always been:
A) A hassle to create every weekend
B) A time for my high kids to work and my low kids to goof off
C) A stressful time of day
D) All of the above

D! D! I pick D!  So for my educational goals this year, I want to delve into Daily 5 so that all of my students are loving center time and actually getting something out of it.  At the end of this school year, I honestly hope to have the best readers I've ever had leaving my classroom.

3. Make more "Me Time"
Summer is awesome and wonderful!  Why?  Because every single day is jam-packed full of Me Time!  Time for me to exercise, time for me to keep my house clean, time for me to cook, time for me to time!  I hate how during the school year I never get enough time for this.  I'm always too exhausted when I get home from school to do any of it.  I always feel like a failure at home if I feel successful at school.  So this year, that's going to change.  I'm going to make the most of every day.  Grading papers during lunch, making copies during plan time - packing my day with all the work it can hold so that when 3:00 comes around, I'll be done!  Does that mean I'll never stay late after school?  Of course not!  But if I can cram my day with work and not let interruptions (aka facebook, instagram, etc. during lunch and plan time) get in my way, I will have so much less to do after the bell rings and I'll have more time to take care of myself. 

Sooooo...what about you?  What are a few things you'd like to improve on this school year for yourself or your classroom?  Take the image below and add your blog post to the linkup!  Don't forget to also post your image on instagram and add the hashtag #schoolyearresolutions.  Have a magical school year!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Follow Frenzy: Week 4

Hooray for Week 4 of the TPT Seller Challenge! 

So I'm probably not the Mrs. Social Butterfly that bloggers are supposed to be, but I do follow a lot of blogs and I do read and learn from them like they are professional development books.  I love, love, love that the TPT Seller Challenge has given me a chance to find new bloggers.  Here's three of my faves I've found through this wonderful journey.  Thanks for being an inspiration, ladies!
You can check out their blogs below:
And check out their amazing TPT stores while you're at it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Currently: July

So maybe I'm behind the times, or maybe I just never find time to blog during the school year, but I'm finally linking up for Currently with Oh Boy 4th Grade.
Listening:  My new cat makes bird noises.  I don't know if this is common, if my cat is having an identity crisis, or if she's going to be the best cat hunter in the world.  You can listen to her here.  If you happen to know about this phenomenon, please let me know in the comments because I'm considering taking her to counseling...or letting her duel it out with a bird.

Loving: That I still have a whole month of rejuvenation, relaxation, and loving on my pets and family!  I love teaching, but it seems like I never get a minute to breathe during the school year.  These two months I get are pure bliss.

Thinking: Since I do only have a month of summer left, I need to start prepping for school.  I have banished teaching pinterest posts for a month now, so I think I have to start pinning again.  And I should probably start laying out my curriculum...nah.

Wanting: It has stormed so much over the past few days at my house!  This is crazy business!  I feel like I'm in central Florida...but I'm not because I can't go to Disney World!  Lightning struck so close to our house yesterday that the smoke alarms went of several times.  Our pets had a little freak out attack in the meantime.  Plus, the little bit of tan I have from this summer is slowly leaving, and we can't let that happen, now can we?  Sun, please come back out!  Yours truly.

Needing: Summer is the only time I get to read.  It probably shouldn't be, but I just can't find time during the school year to do it!  And sadly, I've only finished one book this whole summer.  It was a huge book, but nevertheless, just one.  I have to get on it!  The new Daily 5 book is calling my name!

All Star: To Do List maker.  I just got a new Erin Condren planner (YAY!) and if I wasn't a To Do List Queen before, I am now.  I know I'll forget whatever I need to do if I rely on my own memory, so my lists are the way to go!

Thanks for joining me on my first Currently post!  Hopefully I can keep this up during the school year!