Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May Problem of the Day...FINALLY..and with FREEBIES!

Hi folks!
  It's Tuesday & the week is already moving too fast for me to keep up. I am FINALLY getting to upload the MAY version of my Common Core Problem of the Day pack. Because I'm so late, there are 5 free problems in the preview...that will get you through a whole week, and give you a little extra time to take care of all that stuff that inevitably piles up in May :)

If you haven't downloaded or used this product before, this is what the daily problems look like. And, these are the ones you get for FREE :) Plus, this month, there are 25 problems to help those who have to go to school a little later....

Just click the TOP picture to go to TpT & download the preview, or the whole pack:)

Keeping it short tonight, because my to-do list is getting longer & longer.  Does anyone else start having a mild panic attack when May rolls around?? There is just so much to do....assessments, RTI paperwork, unit planning, and lots of "other" stuff at school. I love May & all the excitement it holds, but it is an exhausting time of year!

Plus, I'm leaving for the BEACH (woo hoo!!) on Friday, so there's sub plans and all that goodness to get together. Fun times.  I do have some awesome guest bloggers that will be here this weekend, so I hope you'll stop back by & show them lots of love!

Hope you've had a Terrific Tuesday & as always, thanks for stopping by!! :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Yummy & Mother's Day Writing

It's Sunday & I can't believe how fast the weekend is flying by. There's a lot of truth in wishing there was just one extra day between Saturday and Sunday. Today it's all about lesson planning and test prep, but I wanted to share a YUMMY with you, even if it's not school related,...and a little Mother's Day writing pack before I glued myself to my desk chair...

So, I am not a cook... I LOVE to bake, but I am not a cook.
However, I do spend hours pinning yummy recipes to my Pinterest boards. Now, I have tried some things, but it's usually MB that ends up making the fabulous dinners and such, and I just get to enjoy them. I know it's not fair to him, but seriously, friends, you don't want to eat what I cook.

But, I can bake.  Not like Paula Deen or anything, but I'm usually not too ashamed of the baked goods from my kitchen. (Compared to my chicken skills, this is success!)

So, I found this most AMAZING recipe and just had to try it.

Boy, am I glad that I did!  They're "Slutty Brownies"... yep, that's the name.  Don't stop reading here...you'll regret it :) haha
You'll need 
* A bag/box of chocolate chip cookie dough OR you can use the refrigerated rolled dough.
* A pack of Oreo cookies
* Your favorite Brownie Mix
   Go with the "family size" packs for the 9 x 13 backing pan, or if you want to make a smaller version, just get the regular boxes or bags.
Okay, so you take a 9X13 baking pan.
Coat the pan with butter or heavy duty cooking spray (whatever you can do to keep these bad boys from sticking!)
Line the bottom of the pan with chocolate chip cookie dough.

Then, layer oreo cookies on top of the dough.

Then, pour brownie mix all over the top.
 Yep, that's MB pouring the batter... he's the best!

Bake @350 for 30 minutes. (Check them to make sure they don't burn OR to see that they're done all the way through).  Dirty oven. Don't judge.

 That's it. YUMMO!!!  

 We took them to a friend's shindig last night & they were a huge success!! I can't eat ice cream, but some folks warmed them up, and put a scoop on vanilla on top. Decadent, I tell you!  Mind you they are rich, rich, rich, so a little goes a long way, BUT, they are easy peasy & you'll be famous! :)

 I found the recipe at What's Gaby Cooking but it required you to make the cookie dough & brownie mix from scratch and "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That"....

 So, I then found them at The Londoner...and she made me feel better about being lazy & using pre-packaged ingredients.  *Just a note, she lives in London (hence the name) so her recipe reads a little differently than those for us in the US.  Oh, and over there, it's UNHEARD of to get a pack of 40 oreos..can you imagine?? 

 Anyway, if you are looking for something simply & super tasty...this is your ticket! :) And if you don't like "SLUTTY Brownies... I'm sure creative license is okay here... haha

 Okay, onto Topic #2 - Mother's Day! :)
I'm trying to get things prepared for this week and next so we can get some Mother's Day activities done before I leave, and stuff to do with the sub (yep, I"m ready for the BEACH!).

Each year, we write about "Why Our Mom Should Win Mom of the Year", so I wanted to share my mini packet with you.  The kids love it, the mommies love it, and it's a great way to practice persuasive writing and meet that Common Core Standard.

 The graphic organizers help guide the students through the writing process, and gives them the structure to help with writing.  There is also a sheet for illustrating the "Best Mom". The kids then write their final draft (in their best handwriting, of course), or we also type them up on the computer to meet that Common Core Standard, as well.

 Using the computer in my room is difficult since I only have 2 that work but it's great practice.  Hope you like it. The pack is FREE until 11:00 Eastern tonight :) Then, it's still super cheap...  Click the TOP picture or <HERE> to grab it :)

  Now, go make those brownies... seriously... I could eat my weight in them. Mind you, I'd be sick as a dog, but oh-so-delicious.

  Hope you've had an awesome weekend & you're refreshed for a brand new week. Our BIG test starts Tuesday, so all happy thoughts, prayers, and good mojo is appreciated.

 As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

TpT Debate, New Product & FLASH Freebie!!!

So, there's been a lot of fodder out there this week about Teachers Pay Teachers. Apparently, there are those who believe that teachers do not actually OWN the rights to the products they make, and should give the profits (or portion) to their school districts. This is all based on the theory that "most" (whoever came up with that, I'll never know) teachers use school computers or school-bought technology to create products and that much of it is being made during "tax payer supported working hours". 

Rumor has it that one school district has even made a motion to restrict their teachers from selling on TpT.


First of all, I do not know ANY teacher that creates products on school time or with school resources. It's all done at home, on his or her own time, and with software and products purchased with personal funds. Making products for TpT is labor intensive and time consuming.... and most of us do it because a) we love teaching, sharing and collaborating...and b) to add a few dollars to the bank. 

Plus, WHO on earth has time to make stuff while at school?? I barely have time to run to the bathroom on most days! 

I'm sure there ARE those that break the rules, but really??  I just think this is an ignorant perspective, and I just keep reading about it. I wish I could find the articles & share them with you, but I've searched for a while now, and my leads come up dead.

Anyway, what do YOU think?? Should teachers share their profits because we are in a career that is supported by tax payer dollars?  I'd love to hear your opinions on this whole thing because, truly, I'm bumfuzzled that ANYONE actually came up with this thought.

~~~  Moving on...kinda... in my support of TpT and the free enterprise system, I wanted to share my latest product with you AND give it away for the next two hours... ('til 11:00 Eastern).

We've been working on hineys off learning about number patterns.  My firsties have mastered the number patterns that they are familiar with, like counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's forward from the beginning of the number line.  BUT, start counting at like 23 and count by 2's, and they are LOST.  So, we use this strategy....
I'm sure a lot of you do this, too, but it works wonderfully! We've been using this set for a couple days now, and I'm amazing at the progress. YAY!!  I love when I'm amazed :)

Here are some previews of what's included in the pack...
 Strategy cards for addition and subtraction (counting on AND counting back)...
 Number Pattern Matching Cards. The first card has the beginning of the pattern & the second one has the extension of it.  There are 18 sets.
Plus, you get 18 number pattern "fill in the blank" cards you can laminate & the kids can write on with dry erase markers.  There's also a worksheet to assess your student's progress (not pictured). 

So, there you have it ! I hope you like it :) Oh, and for the record... I didn't make this at school, on school time, or with school resources. haha :)

Head on over & grab it for free. Just click <HERE>!  If you like it, I'd love your positive feedback!

Ok, friends, I'm off to try & write some lesson plans for next week. It's the BIG test for us first graders, so the schedule is all wonky, but we're gonna ROCK IT.. I just know it !!

Hope you're having a great week, and just think, you're just hours away from FRIDAY!! Yippee!

Much love,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Testing 1, 2, 3, Mother's Day Ideas & a FREEBIE

I have totally been neglecting my sweet blog. :( This testing prep is about to kill me, & I am just ready to get it over. They are just babies, I keep saying (screamiNG, ranTING, RAVING!...), but no matter how much I don't like it, we have to take it.  The upper grades finished up their testing today, so there's a little less stress in the overall feel at school but we have 3 more days of prep before OUR big test, and I'm trying to keep my kids (keep ME) calm.  I know they will do what they will do, and I have done all I can do, but it just makes me nervous.  Ugh. 

So, with all the lessons in my room being centered around test review, I almost feel bad for my kiddos.  We have done some fun activities and lots of brain breaks, but there's been lots and lots of review...  One of my kids said, "Wow, we have done a lot of work this week...but no crafts. When are we doing a craft?" with a frowny face.  I am a strong believer that kids learn through play and crafts, so I do a lot of that in my room.  But, like I said, this week has been review. Boo. 

But, I wanted to share a fun little cut and paste we did today that the kids actually enjoyed. It's not much, but we needed the help in deciphering among nouns, plural nouns, proper nouns, and pronouns.

Way too many nouns! haha :) I can totally understand how the kids get confused with these... I mean, introduce and master ALL of these in one school year? We're trying...

 Just click the pictures to grab the freebie if you think you can use it :)

Anyway, on to more happier talk... Mother's Day!!!  :)
Like I said, I love doing crafts with my kids & Mother's Day is always a good time to jump right in. This year, I'm trying to figure out what I want to do...  Any thoughts??

These are some things I've done in the past...
 I took wooden picture frames from Ikea, and the kids glued scrapbook paper to the front of the frame. I went around it with an Exacto knife & trimmed the edges (at home, obviously). The kids chose whether or not they wanted to make a tissue flower (the girls said YES!) for their frames. Then, the I took a picture of each child with a DRAWN picture of their mommy & put it in the frame. It was a BIG HIT :)
We've also made flower bouquets from our handprints. The kids each trace & cut out their hands. Then, you roll them into a flower & tape the bottom.  We dropped pipe cleaners down the center & then tied all the flowers up to make a bouquet.  Sweet.

Last year, we made these bags...

 They were 99 cents a piece at Garden Ridge, so I snagged them. I took each child, painted his hand, and then they went around and made a flower. I let them paint the middle & the stem and leaves.  It was super easy & the mommies really liked this. If I can find the bags again, I think I may go with this. I don't know.
 Cute huh?

I also made these as parent helper appreciation gifts last year, and thought I could do it again, but it's mainly me making them & not the kids...
The kids picked out the paper & ribbon, and then I put them together. I am a bigger fan of kid-made gifts, but I'm trying to decide...

What to do...what to do....

What do YOU think??   I need your help!  Got any other ideas to share?? I'm all ears :)

I'm going to be out of the town for a few days before the weekend of Mother's Day, plus we have Field Day that week, so I need to get my idea in my head & get it done before I leave.  So, please help :)

Allright, I'll pause the ramble & head on out.  I'm working on a Counting On & Back Number Pattern mini pack, and would like to get it up by tonight.  I'll share tomorrow.  I'm thinking FLASH FREEBIE?? :)

As always, thanks for stopping by & a BIG thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway.. It was so much fun & I loved reading all your comments.  It's crazy how big the variation is among the days left of school for all teachers. Some people don't get out 'til the end of June and some are out in like two weeks. WOW!  We have 26 days here... not like I'm counting or anything ;)

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Winners!!!! :)

Hi Folks!  The giveaway is over, and the winners have been announced!  I will be sending out emails soon to the winners, but CONGRATULATIONS to....
   Kate  - Winner of the $25 gift card of choice & 3 items to my store
   Lisa R - Winner of the K-2 Super Pack
  Suzy - Winner of the 3-5 Pack
   Andrea K - Winner of the All Grades Prize Pack

THANK YOU to everyone who entered & to all of you who follow & stop by my blog. I just love being part of this community!!!  

Hope you've had a happy Monday ! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Final Countdown!!

Hi Friends!!!
   Just a last minute reminder that my Mega Giveaway ends tonight at midnight... you have 5 hours left to enter & share with your friends :) There's so many great prizes - I can't wait to see who the winners are!
 (Thank you to the 3AM Teacher for the Super Duper CUTE frames used in the pictures!)

Prize #1 is 25 Gift Card to your choice - Amazon, TpT, or Target... you know, my favorites :)  Plus, you can pick any THREE items from my TpT store. The Rafflecopter says any ONE item, but I wanted to give away more, so there :)

Prize #2 is a MEGA pack of 15 FABULOUS items from some of your favorite bloggers and TpT Sellers :)

Prize #3 is for your 3rd-5th teachers... just look at these two prizes! :)

And lastly, Prize #4 is for ALL grades... It includes FONTS (yes, FONTS!), a $5 Gift Card, a SUPER cute Memory Book, and Winner's Choice Prize :) Yay!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Five for Friday & Homonyms..or Homophones?

Happy Dance! Happy Dance! It's Friday... and not only Friday, but one more Friday closer to summer! We have 29 days of school left...and only 5 Mondays. Yippee! 

It's bittersweet this year. I L.O.V.E my kids this year - they truly have my heart - so I hate to see them move on to 2nd grade, but boy, do I love my summers :) Does anyone else become so attached to "your" kids that they are forever YOUR kids??? 
Yep, that about sums me up :)

Anyway, time to link up for Five for Friday! :)

1) Girly Fun! Started the week off with a MUCH NEEDED pedicure & it was made even better because I got to go to the salon with my sweet momma.  It was a great girls day!
Please don't judge the Fred Flinstone feet...or my awesome sweats, but I am in love with the super summery color..Flip Flop Fantasy! :)

2)  SHOPPING!  Okay, I admit,I have a bit of a problem, but I do love me some shopping.  I also have a bit of an obsession with scarves. I just can't have enough. Lately, it's been these chevron jersey knit scarves...

I've already bought the mint blue & the grey...and I can't get enough! Now I want the pink, but I need to put the brakes on, or I am going to look really weird wearing the same accessory every day! :) I got them on ebay for CHEAPO & they shipped in 3 days. Happy girl right here...happy, happy!

3) When I Grow Up...
    This week, while the "bigs" were taking their state test, we were presenting mandated "College & Career Reading Preparedness Instruction" lessons.. wow, that's a mouthful!  Basically, we spent three days presenting different career "clusters" like transportation, law, and agriculture to our first graders. The other grades focused on different clusters. It's supposed to expose children early to college & career readiness and get them thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.

 Mine wanted to be astronauts, police officers, bus drivers, and firefighters... I just want them to be happy.  I think that's the best part of being a teacher.. I'm actually HAPPY with my job. I dont think there's a lot of folks that can say that.  The lessons were a little over the kids' heads, but it was so much fun hearing all their innocent ideas of what they want to be. :)

4 AND 5) Homonyms....or are they homophones??
   I am always confused by these two... so I looked it up...and this is what is says...

In linguistics, a homonym is one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings.
A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two and too.
All homonyms are homophones because they sound the same. However, not all homophones are homonyms. Homophones with different spellings are not homonyms. 

Uhhhh... ok.  Are you confused??  Yeah, me too.

So, no matter what they're called, that's what we've been working on this week.  I think the titles of my activities are wrong, now that I've read the definition, but we've had fun and learned so much about them this week :)

 Found this awesome book on TpT last year, and can't seem to find it again. If you know the source, or ARE the source, please let me know so I can give credit.
Each child got a different page & we made a class book. Love this one! 

We also made Homonym 'n M's... it's supposed to look like a pack of M&M's :)

  We ate some, too...always a good day when chocolate is involved! :)

Then, we created a Pair of Pears...

 Lastly, we made these fun Homonym (now I know they are HOMOPHONES!) books :) I made this my first year teaching...long before cute fonts & clip art entered my life, but they work & the kids always enjoy the activity.
 It's definitely hand drawn, but if you want a copy, email me & I'll send it to you :)
So, those are my five! Heading out of town for a wedding with MB. Should be fun!! :) Have a great one, too!

 And don't forget about my giveaway... you still have time to enter & win a BUNCH of awesome resources...or a gift card... or some fonts..seriously, click the picture to check it out  :)

Much love,