Sunday, June 30, 2013

600 Follower Giveaway...and a Little Hoarding

Hi Friends !!
  I made it! I made it! I hit 600 Followers :) My goal was to try & do that before Google Reader bit the dust. Everyone is still unsure about whether that "magic number" is going to go away tomorrow, so it just made my heart happy to see 600.  I know it's weird.. I fully admit it. Still makes me happy. Ha! :)

The Polished Teacher just hit 600, too, so we decided to team up for a fantastic giveaway....

The giveaway runs from today until Friday (July 5th) at midnight. 
Take a look at the awesome prizes you could win...

You can enter by following all the directions in the Rafflecopter below...

I'd love for you to comment & let me know which gift card you'd like and what fabulous things you plan on doing with  it:)

Okay, I'm about to tape off the bedroom & get ready to paint!  Got up there tonight & decided to go through the ole cedar chest to see what was hiding in there. I should tell you, I knew it had been YEARS since I'd opened it, but I had no idea it had been THIS long...
 That's two boxes of CASSETTE tapes (speaking of tape... ha!).  Ummm... did I think that those were gonna make a big comeback someday??  I did find a super cool & old mason jar that use to belong to my grandmother..or great grandmother?  The chest was my great grandmas, so who knows.  Oh, and then there was this gem...

These are notes.  
      From High School.  
                That was a while ago, to say the least...say about 18 years. Holy moly! Not sure why I've held on to these for so long, but they are from my bestest friends (who still are), and then there are cards from my folks. No, I'm not getting rid of any of these...just organizing them into a sweet little box. Sweet memories.

The cassette tapes?  Time to cut the cord & let 'em go! haha :)

Allright, friends... it's midnight & we're gonna get the room taped off & ready to go for tomorrow! Just had to invite you to enter the fun giveaway & share my finds... and no, I'm not a hoarder! :)

Oh, and before I go, THANK YOU to everyone who follows & for those that always leave such kind comments. My bloggy anniversay of ONE YEAR was just Thursday, and I am so humbled by how wonderful you've all been. Looking forward to what the next year has to offer.... Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Farley was wonderful enough to post this month's CURRENTLY a day early, so I'm joining it! I didn't make it to the Top Ten due to my awesome new sleep schedule, but I am linking up.

I love the monthly Currently.. so much fun!

Listening... to Salvage Dogs on the DIY Network. These guys get to go to all these old historical places that are being demolished & salvage all the old vintage and antique stuff before it's destroyed. Then, they upcycle it, sell it, or so something else cool with it. I'm just jealous that they get to go to all those old places. I'm a sucker for all things old.... all things vintage... all things "junk".  When I grow up, I want to be an American Picker! :)

Loving.... the fabric and color choices I found for the redo of my upstairs bedroom.
 It's a little busy, but I'm in love with it ! I got a dark slate quilt to some small turquoise pillows & I"m going to make big sham pillows out of this fabric.  Plus, MB & I are starting the painting tonight....gray walls to match the fabric! We have until Monday to get it all painted and redone (minus the sewing, of course) & I"m so excited. Don't you just love the metal chevron light switch cover??  LOVE.

I'll post pictures when I get it all done!

Thinking... about grad work.  Honestly, I'm thinking "Why, oh why, did I decide to go back?" I finished my Ed.S. in 2011, and going back for an Add-On, but believe me when I say this coursework is kicking my butt!  Think 12 hour days (minimum) GLUED to the computer.  Good times. I have 18 assignments to complete in ONE week so we can leave for the beach & I won't have to do too much work down there.  How sad is it that I am SO excited to put this thing away & paint. I must need a break! HA!

Wanting...  a few more months of summer.  At least 2.  Grad school winds up on July 27th, and I go back on the 31st. I could really use a little bit of summer between that so enjoy, but I shouldn't complain. I mean, I chose it, right. AND we're leaving for the beach in ONE WEEK!! YAY! I'm also wanting good weather at the beach...that's not too much to ask right?! :)

Needing... to get my sleep schedule back on track. I'm a night owl, alllllll the way. I do my best work late at night, and when I get going, I can't stop. So, it's been 4 a.m bed times,and 11 a.m wake ups, and I've GOT to get back on a normal schedule. Those 5:30 mornings are going to come around way too soon! :)

Tips, Tricks or Hints...  I am not a blogging expert, nor do I claim to be. Some things I've learned along the way , though, are...

   Be YOU - show some personality & let everyone get to know you. Farley suggests showing more of you in front of the camera, and I really need to do that. I'm much more comfortable BEHIND the camera, but she has a great point. Your blog is about YOU, so show it  :)
  Get OUT there - Blog stalk & leave some bloggy love along the way. Let people know you are reading their blogs, and you like what they have to say. Comment on blogs you love, and if someone comments on yours, try to reply back when you can. It's hard, but choose a few to say something back to. Just my opinion, of course :)
 Say Something - I really LOVE reading blogs that are about stuff....great ideas, funny things that have happened, pictures of great finds or activities, but (and this is not meant to be ugly at ALL), I tend to skip over blogs that are ALWAYS JUST about someone's TpT store or items they're selling.
   Don't get me wrong, I LOVE seeing everyone's products and it's YOUR blog, so do what you want, but throw some content out your product in action.... blog and talk to your readers instead of just advertising. Please, please show your products ( I know I do), but don't make your blog just about that. Again, just my opinion :)

So, that's it for me. Head on over to Farley's & link up!! :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Pigeon Sentences!

Cara Carroll is an absolute genius with her weekly Throwback Thursday! 

I have so loved reading all the posts that I've missed along the way. Since I haven't been blogging as long as others, I have let Pinterest guide my throwback... this is one of the most popular pins & I thought I' share it again :)

This original post is from November 28, 2012, and was posted right before the BIG LOTTO drawing of $550 million dollars. Remember when everyone was running out buying up tickets? Apparently, I was caught up in the madness, too..haha. Just wanted to give you some context for my rantings :) goes... Pigeon Sentences with Mo Willems...


Did someone say $550 MILLION DOLLARS??!! Wow!  My brain can't even comprehend what that kind of rich would be like, but like 99% of the US, I have bought my tickets & am patiently awaiting the number draw tonight.  A few of us went in together at school, so maybe that will increase the odds.  I think the heading " First Grade Teachers Hit the Lotto" has a great ring to it !! :)

Anyway, beyond the daydreams of wealth, this Common Core change is something I'm really trying to wrap my brain around. There are some standards that are so much more appropriate, and then there are others that I can't, for the life of me, figure out who decided first graders needed to master.

For example.... 4 types of sentences.  Now, don't get me wrong, we've focused on asking, telling, and exclaiming sentences for YEARS, but never have I been expected to teach my kids the words "interrogative, declarative, explanatory, and imperative".  I know vocabulary is super important, but just getting my firsties to master the structure of a sentence or tell me what makes a complete sentence has sometimes left me pulling my hair out!!  Anyway, after trying to figure out how to teach this fantastic skill to my little ones, I came up with this . . . and I have to say, it's gone great! :)

This week, we have been reading the "Don't Let the Pigeon...." books to focus on the different types of sentences.  We made this anchor chart while we read the books:
OH NO! I just realized the Imperative sentence has a ? mark on it. WHOOPS! Guess I will be fixing that FIRST thing in the morning!  Now I'm embarrassed :/
We have chanted "Declarative Tells, Explanatory Yells, Interrogative Asks, and Imperative Commands!" about 4 GAZILLION times & I'm just hoping it sticks.  

Each day, we've read one of the books & located each type of sentence in the text.  In the kids' reading journals, they had to write an example of each type of sentence.

Then, today, we made pigeons!

After making the pigeons, I divided the kids into 4 groups - one for each type of sentence.

Then, each group member got a speech bubble labeled with their type of sentence. They had to create a sentence that matched the type to go with their pigeon.

After that, we cut out our bubbles, shared with the class, and displayed them in the hallway :)
 (please excuse the broom - my classroom is the last one on the hallways...and sometimes becomes the stopping point for brooms, trash cans, floor buffers, etc.... It's okay, we like our little hideaway! )

The best part is . . .  they actually GOT IT!! Woo hoo!  Now, fingers crossed, they still get it tomorrow :)

We completed the activity as a whole first grade team & everyone had success with it, so I wanted to share with you.  
      HERE is Pattern #1 ......   and HERE is Pattern #2

Warning: They're just hand drawn & nothing fancy, but you're more than welcome to them! I just ran them on light blue construction paper & had the kids make their own beaks and legs. :)

For those of you who are playing the lottery....good luck tonight !   Can you imagine what you would do with $550 MILLION DOLLARS??!!?!  Wowzers! Makes for some good daydreaming, if nothing else :)

Hope you enjoyed today's post. Head over to Cara's The First Grade Parade & link up with your "oldie but goodie" so we can all see !

Have a wonderful Thursday :) 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ten Pin Linky - Math Awesomeness!

Thanks to everyone who is following on Bloglovin' ! I'm still waiting (anxiously) to see if that magic little Google number goes away on July 1st. I know it's silly, but I've become quite attached and fond of the little guy. I had really hoped to hit 600 before "the switch"....hmmm... we'll see ! :)

Anyway, on to the FUN STUFF!!!  Just Reed is hosting her Tin Pin Linky again this week, and the focus is all about math!

I'll be honest, after about the 6th grade, math was not my favorite OR  my best subject. Taking the math part of the GRE was my own personal nightmare.. I think I was fine until math starting adding letters to the mix.. I was fine with numbers...and then math started looking like this...
But I do love TEACHING math... first grade math is so much fun & it really lays so much of the foundation, so I love love love math time in my room.

Time to link up with my Top Ten Math Pins!! :) As always, the original source can be found (if there is one) by clicking on the picture!

1.  Math Strategies....
 Perfect for those visual learners who need a reminder for how to use strategies. Love love love!

2.  Adding Fun!!
 Teaching first graders to concept of addition can be difficult & I think this is such a great idea! I also love that the kids are working together to figure out the sums. So cute!

3.  Another great math game...
 With beach balls being fully stocked at stores everywhere, I'm gonna go grab a few to make some math games. This would be great for addition or subtraction ( have the kids pick the biggest number to start with, of course), tens & ones...the possibilities are endless. PLUS, you can deflate them for easy storage. 
Yes, please :)

4.  GIANT hundreds charts! 
 My kids really struggle with the hundreds chart at the beginning of the year. I'm hoping more emphasis in our Kindergarten with Common Core will help that, but I just LOVE this idea of creating a giant version of one. What a great way to assess the kids at the beginning of the year AND to keep practicing all year long. Perfect-o!

5. Visuals for ten frames or tens & ones
 Just clever, I tell ya. This could be used for so many things... I just love the whole concept. AND, popsicle/craft sticks & paperclips are pretty darn easy to come by :)

6. PURE GENIUS!  Quiet Dice!
 A picture is worth a thousand words, right??  Can't you just hear...or NOT hear...these dice? 
What a fabulous way to quieten down the sound of those things AND keep them on the desk. 
Genius, I say!

7.  Cute, Crafty, and Totally Perfect!
 Just like beachballs, cute little sunglasses are easy to come by this time of year, and I just love this idea. The two sides of the sunglasses show two parts to a whole, and I think the kids will love it. Definitely on my "to do" list for back to school !

8.  Daily graphing!
 I think a lot of people have seen this one, but I can't wait to use it in my classroom With Guided Math, daily graphing is such an important component. This is such a simple way to change the daily (weekly) question, but without having to overhaul the whole graph. 

Plus those glitter clothespins I've been dying to make will be perfect! :)

9. Telling Time INTERACTIVE Bracelets...
 Don't you just love these??  The kids all put one on, and each get a recording sheet. They walk around the classroom and "ask" (nicely!) to see everyone's watch. They record the time on their sheet next to the child's name or number, and it's a great way (and a fun way!) to assess understanding of time. Could be done with hour, half hour, and or variation.  Plus, I think the kids will love making their own watches :)

10. Guess My Number!
 What a great way to improve number sense. I plan on incorporating this into our morning math mini-lesson every day...or during that short (6 minutes??) time between lunch and recess.  Super easy to make and could last all year. Would be great with higher numbers, too!

That's about it for me, friends... I can't wait to see all your pins, too!!
Head on over to Just Reed & link up! :)

And, don't forget to head over to Buy, Sell, Teach to sign up & grab FIVE of my products for FREE until midnight!

You will get all this for it's an awesome BRAND NEW site for buying & selling your products :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!! :)  Have a happy HUMP DaaaayyyyyY!
Funniest commercial, ever! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Buy Sell Teach, a Bloglovin' Linky & some FREEBIES!

Hi Friends! 
   I don't know about you, but summer is moving by WAY too quickly for my liking. Of course, I've been glued to my computer listening to super exciting podcasts for grad school, but wow, it's moving fast! We go back July 31st, with the kids returning August 7th. That just seems right around the corner!! 

  Add to that  my "to do" list just keeps growing by leaps and bounds... I seriously wonder if I'll get it all done!  Eekk!

  I have been doing a lot of blog stalking and finding great ideas for the classroom, and I have found a BRAND NEW SITE for buying & selling your products... Buy, Sell, Teach!!

It works similarly to Tpt in that there are two memberships - silver & gold. The silver membership is FREE and the Gold membership is just $24.95 a YEAR. Deal!!  The commissions are great, too!

It's BRAND NEW like I said, so head on over there & start your membership to start adding your content & getting it out there :)

Freebie Alert!!  If you go to Buy, Sell, Teach before tomorrow night at midnight (Wednesday, Eastern time), you can get FIVE of my best selling TpT products for FREE!!!  Picture previews of what you will get are shown below.... 

So, head on over & join up. It's FREE and my stuff is FREE, so what more could you ask for?!?!  :)
And, spread the word to your bloggy friends - it's seriously starting from the ground up, which I think is pretty darn cool. :) Click the picture above or <here> to check it out!

OH, and be sure to follow me on Bloglovin...July 1st is coming faster & faster (ugh), and Google Reader will be no more.  

Tori's Teacher Tips is hosting a linky/blog hop so we can all see who has signed up, and you can find some other awesome blogs to follow. Lovin' it !!

Let me know you're following me on Bloglovin' so I can follow you back!! :)

Hope everyone's having a fabulous summer day & as always, thanks for stopping by!! :)