Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#SLANTbox Goodness & A FREEBIE!!

Hi Friends !!
   So, today was our 15th day of school, and I realized that Progress Reports go home next week. WhAt?!  We have been testing... testing....and testing some more, and just this week did we actually dive right into some actual teaching and learning, and now I have to do progress reports. Will I ever, ever feel like I'm actually AHEAD of the game?! haha :)
Anyhoo.... in the midst of ALL this craziness, I got my SLANTbox in the mail today!!!  YAY!! :)

Do you know about #SLANTbox??
  It's this fabulous exchange where you are paired with other teachers, bloggers, admins, or coaches (whichever you are!), and each month, you get to know each other through email or whatever you choose. Then, close to the end of the month, you grab up a few things (based on a monthly theme) and send them to your SLANT Buddy!!  

   You get to know TWO fabulous new people - one that you will send to...and the other that will send to you!

   So, this week, I got my #SLANTbox from my sweet friend, Brittany at Britt's First Grade Bliss... and I am SO excited... Check out my goodies :)
Can you say Chevron Love?? Oh yes, a chevron pen, a super cute bag, yummy smell good lotion, some fabulous sticky notes, and...wait for it...a chevron infinity scarf.  Um, yes, please!!! :) THANK YOU, Brittany!!!

    My box shipped out yesterday & I hope my buddy loves all her goodies, too...
Eeek... So exciting!

So, if you haven't heard of #SLANTbox, and want to learn more about the rules & sign up.... head on over to Lessons With Coffee. You have until Sept 3rd at 11:59 to sign up, so go!!
Oh, and you sign up monthly, so you don't have to commit to every single month...whatever works for you. It's so much fun! :)

Allright, now on to the promised FREEBIE. We have been working with nouns the past week, and I wanted a simple sorting center for them to work on. We're just now rolling out centers, so I needed something that could be done independently, and was educational, too.  So, I made this little chevron sort (imagine that?!), and thought I'd share...
Just click the picture to go to my TpT store & grab it.
If you download, please leave feedback. I'd really appreciate it :)

Also, my September homework pack is up on TpT, too. I've had such great feedback from August, and I'm so exciting to roll out the new one.  You can get some freebies (a weeks worth!) in the preview, so head over to download it :)

As always, thanks so much for stopping by!!  I'm hoping to finally be back into the swing of this bloggy thing. I've really missed it.  I hope you have an awesome HUMP DAY!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Five for Friday...errr...Sunday & September Homework!

I'm late... I'm late...
   That seems to be the theme for the last two weeks. I have been ON time to work, which is a good thing, but I just feel like I'm still working behind the clock.

   We have been in school for two and a half weeks, and I just keep trying to catch up. I FINALLY feel like I'm getting there, but wow.  Does anyone else feel that way the first few weeks of school??

   Anyway, I'm here.... finally....and linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky, albeit on a Sunday, but still.. 

So, here's my five randoms from my week...

1)  The snotty-bug has bitten me early this year...
We have already gone through TWO boxes of tissues... TWO!  I've never gotten sick this early on in the school year, and I'm starting to question the strength of my SuperDuperTeacherImmunity. It has failed me, and this, my friends, was what my weekend had in store for me.  Fun fun!

2)  My sweet niece was crowned Little Miss!

My niece and nephew live over a thousand miles away, which makes me sad. I only get to see them once or twice a year, but we keep in touch with pictures. Last night, my sweet niece was crowned Little Miss in her town, and today, she got to ride on her first float in her first big parade. Such a proud aunt !! :)


I know I shared a while back that I had joined up with BuySellTeach... a new market for teachers to buy and sell their products. Well.... I was automatically entered into their August giveaway...and I WON!! An iPad mini!!  Can you believe it???  I don't even own an iPhone (next on my "to do" list), so I don't even know how to work it, but I am so super excited, I can barely stand it.  It's in the mail, as we speak...Awesome huh?? This month's giveaway is for 3 $50 gift cards....head on over there to link up your stuff, or sign up to buy, and you're automatically entered!! :)

4) Testing...Testing...1,2,3
      We have been knee deep in testing for the last two weeks, and my team & I have had to come up with centers to keep the kids occupied.  We do AIMSweb testing, which is similar to DIBELS. There are 8 individual tests for each kid, and it has to be done on the computer. Which means the rest of the children are left to their own devices. So....  we tried to come up with some fun things that are educational, time consuming, and able to be completed INDEPENDENTLY!!  Wow, that's a hard thing to accomplish with newbie first graders.

     Anyway, my brilliant teammate came up with Cut Apart Spelling...

The children take each spelling word and color it a different color or pattern.
This helps them identify each of the letters that go together to make a word.

Then, they cut them apart, and create their spelling words.

Lastly, they glue them down.

It's genius, I tell you...and the kids not only LOVE it, but have done an awesome job the last couple of weeks.

I've uploaded the first unit on TpT & you can go grab them for free right now..    Just click the picture.
The words are based on Reading Street spelling, but you could use them with any program because they are phonics based. Free for now :)

     My September Homework packet is finally finished, and up on TpT!! Yay!!!

     I got such awesome feedback from the August packet,and I'm so excited to get the next one out there for everyone...

 This is what September looks like...
There are four FREEBIE sheets in the preview, so head on over & download to check it out! Just click the above picture to go to TpT:)

This month's Common Core skills are:

Nouns, Proper Nouns,  & Plurals


Sentence Order & Complete Sentences

Capitalization and Punctuation

Long and Short Vowels

Number Order

120 Chart


Greater Than/Less Than

Skip Counting

Word Problems

Oh, and the first THREE people to comment below? I'll send you the September homework for free.. Make sure you leave an email address, or make sure you're not a "no reply blogger". :)

 Also, I have had several people asking about a TENTATIVE plan for upcoming homework packets, so I put this together...
 Click the picture to view larger or download...
So, that's it for me, friends...
 Now that life is finally settling down.. I PROMISE to be better at blogging. :)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week, and this one is even better. Love to all and, as always, thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Come "Sale" Away with Me!!!

I'm sure you've heard, but today & tomorrow, TpT is hosting the BIGGEST sale of the year. Most of your favorite TpT sellers have marked their stuff down 20%...and then TpT is adding another 8% to that...that's almost THIRTY PERCENT OFF!!  Woo hoo!!

I know my wish list is longer than my arm...and yours..combined, so I can't wait to start filling up my cart with goodies.

I try not to use up my bloggy space with plugs for my stuff because it drives me crazy when every time I check a blog, it's just an ad for their staff (sorry...not trying to be offensive). But, I did want to share just a couple things...

1) My August homework packet has gotten SUCH a great response, and is my best seller this month. And.... to answer many of your questions, YES, I plan on making them for every month through May.  It is Common Core aligned, and will build throughout the year....
Just click the picture to check it out...and YES, it's on sale!
I am already working on September, too...

2) My newest product is all about plurals... so Put a Pencil in Your Pocket, and check this out ...

Click the picture to link to my TpT

I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your support of my blog & TpT store... I can't tell how much it's appreciated.  And, sorry for being such a bad blogger lately.. you know how "back to school" is... Exhausting!!!

Happy Weekend...and even happier SHOPPING!!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week - Meet the Teacher & Monday Made It !

It's Teacher Week & I'm not one to pass up a fun linky, so I just had to join in this party hosted by Blog Hoppin'!

Today, it's "Let's Talk About Me", and while I'm not one to be at a loss for words, I'm not awesome at talking about myself.... but I'll try. Mr. Greg had this awesome idea of a Top Ten list, so I'm gonna go with that.... The Top Ten Randomness of Me!  Warning....these are completely random and probably a little bizarre :)

1.    I have been with my sweet bf, MB, for a little over five years.  We live 100 miles apart, but we've managed to only miss one weekend a year (my girl's beach trip weekend) of seeing each other in all this time. I. heart. him. so. much. Definitely a lucky girl.

2. I am a HUGE football fan....bigger fan than most dudes I know, to be honest. I'm already counting down to college football season, and there's just nothing like it. Yeah, I yell at the TV...and yes, I actually get physically ill when we lose.  I grew up all over the south, but my allegiance is to the Tennessee Vols..in good times & bad...more bad than good lately, but I do love them!
3.  I am deathly afraid of possums and ghosts. Seriously.
       I am just certain that if I was to get close enough to a possum, it would attack me and eat my face.  Perfectly rational, I know. 

      As for ghosts?  I've never encountered one, but I'm convinced that if I stop believing in them, one will show up in my house.  Scary movies are fun, but I can only watch them when MB is here for the weekend, or I am at my parents house. I simply can't go to sleep after I watch one. 
       I'm a big ole fraidy cat, for sure!
 *Not even gonna share a picture here... just. can't. do . it.  Ewwwwww!

4.  Chocolate Chip Pancakes are my favorite food. There's nothing healthy about them, and even when you use whole wheat pancakes & sugar free syrup, they're still soo soooo bad....but sooo soooooo good!

 5.  I don't eat veggies...and I don't drink coffee.

     Which, when added to the chocolate chip pancakes, means I'm right at 8 years old.   I love starchy veggies, and try to eat the others but just don't like them.  Green beans might very well be the devil incarnate. I can't even get them down.

6.  I love ALL things associated with the 50's and 60's.  I'm a total cheeseball, true...but Gidget, Grease, and Elvis rank right there at the top of things I love.  I love the style...the movies...the music...the innocence of it all and ANTIQUES!  I think I may have been born too late.  And, if I could get away with wearing a poodle skirt, I might just do it! ha!
7.  I sleep with at least 5 pillows.  It's a sickness, people. 
      There's definitely not a bun in the oven, but I just think I need one of these... HA!
8.  I have an unhealthy obsession with polka dots, chevron & makeup.  Sephora is my mother ship, and it often calls me home...

 9.  I have two nicknamaes - Gracie & T-Rex.
        Gracie because I am super duper graceful... yeah, right..
            and T-Rex because I have short arms. My coworkers actually bought me one of these for my birthday....
 because of this ....

 10.  I love ALL things crafty!  My favorite thing to do is spend hours upon hours on Pinterest & then craft up some goodness.  And, since it's Monday... here's my latest Monday Made Its! Hey, why not, right...two for one, tonight, folks:)
 Library Sticks... Love them!!  I got the numbers from A Cupcake for the Teacher. So cute :)
 Mean Mr. Fire Marshall made me take down my cute poms hanging from the ceiling so I had to come up with a way to identify each table. These house their crayon caddies from Lakeshore...their pencils...glue..and scissors...perfect-o !
I only made the bottom right one... the rest are courtesy of Just a Primary Girl  on TpT.  
I did put them in the Dollar Tree frames, though... :)

So, that's it for me, friends... SUPER random & all about me !!   This is such a fun linky & I'm having a blast reading all about everyone... so please head on over and link up!!

I hope everyone's had Magnificent Monday, and whether you are already IN school ( like me!) or getting ready.. best of luck on an awesome school year :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Classroom Reveal & First Day of School !!!

Oh wow.... how is it that every single year, I forget just how exhausting the first day of school actually is??

This is my 13th year doing this, and I am dead. on . my. feet every single time.

But, I wanted to share my classroom reveal and a little of our first day activities since it's been forever since I've blogged. I'm hoping that once this "back to school" rush slows down, I will be back to blogging.  I miss it. :/

Update - I'm liking up with Teaching Blog Addict (TBA) for the Classroom Photo Galore Party! Head on over & check out all the amazing classrooms. Teachers really ARE amazing!!!
 Okay, here goes... Classroom Reveal :)
I went with some mustaches (inspired by Mr. Greg at Kindergarten Smorgasboard)  to start the year off with some funky fun.  At Open House, the kids all got blow pops with mustaches saying the same thing :)

Classroom View from my desk...

The fire marshal made me take down my poms from the ceiling,so I had to come up with another way to label the tables. I've always had those crayon caddies from Lakeshore, and I was so happy that my Sterlite tubs fit both the caddies & a pencil basket.... with pencils adorned with color coded flags.  :) 
Yay for Washi Tape! :)

Fire marshal said no poms from the ceiling... he said nothing about the wall....haha!
Plus, here's my Classroom Helpers that are free in my TpT store!

 Lunch choice table. The kids put their "lunch sticks" in each cup,and now (thanks to my Chevron-handy dad),I now have a little table with a drawer to keep all of our lunch choices (and stuff... i love stuff!)

 Sweet Treats for a great day & Sharpened Pencils, too!
I just LOVE this old-timey diner straw holder for my pencils. The kids think it's pretty cool, too!

Found these chevron tubs at Wal Mart & almost peed my pants. As you can see, I haven't figured out what I need them for, but I do love them....and I really need to get a picture in that frame!

 Our Carpet Area... LOVIN' my Ikea rug & my new chevron rocking chair re-do!
Writing Center & Work Cubbies

 Book Center... and my new READ letters....again with the Washi Tape!

 Library sticks.... LOVIN' my numbers from A Cupcake for the Teacher!

 My desk area... Pinterest has officially taken over my brain!!!

 Supply cubbies, our bathroom passes (the BIGGER and improved version), and our highlighter cup.

I started this last year with the kids highlighting their names before they turned in their work & folks,when I say it was a game-changer, I ain't lying... it's the best thing ever !!!

The next best thing are those bathroom passes. This year, I used the BIG bottles of hand sanitizer, but basically, when a child goes to the restroom, he/she puts the pass on their desk.

That way, I know who is out of the room AND they are reminded to get a little squirt of cleanliness when they get back. Let's be honest...they don't always wash their hands. (eww!)

 Daily work.... ready for the first day !!! :)

 More storage!!! My supply bins above the kids' cubbies & more crate seats. I had 4 last year,and they worked so perfectly, I had to make 4 more... now it's like a reading bench, with storage!!!

I also used those same library stick numbers (from above & from A Cupcake for the Teacher) for labeling the students' cubbies. :) They are so colorful !

This is my first year using numbers, to be honest. I've always been very "anti" numbers for kids, but this year, I jumped on the bandwagon.

I have more kids than I have EVER taught by myself (first year I had a teacher's aide/parapro....), so I was looking for anything to make my life easier...and this seems to be the ticket!

Soooo...that's my room!!  I'm super excited about it & the kids all had a great first day, so success!!

Speaking of our first day, it was awesome!!! 22 of the sweetest little faces ever. I always forgot how tee-tiny they are at the beginning of the year.  Little first graders - I do love them!

Anyway, for our first day...we had our pictures taken...
Then, we went on a Bear Hunt!
I wish I could share the pictures with you, but it was absolutely the CUTEST thing I have ever seen!!

We sang Dr Jean's "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" and danced around.
Then, we put on our binoculars (toilet paper rolls + decorative packing tape)...
      our safari hats (paper bowls spray painted tan)...
         and our mustaches to seal the deal.....

You can't imagine how stinkin' cute these kids looked. They walked around our school taking a tour while looking for BEARS!!!

I don't mind sharing our Bear Hunt clues, but they might not work for your school. Let me know if you want them, though, and I'll email it to you ! :)

Anyway, the kids were all walking around with their "binoculars" up, looking for the bears, and learning more about our school.

It was such a fun day!!!

And an exhausting day... time to tackle a little of that NEVERending "to do" list & head to bed.... 5 a.m is just WAAAYYYY too early for me!!
Not even close to covering it ! ha!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Hump Day & as always, thanks for stopping by & taking my little classroom tour with me!!